May 13, 2013
Alumnus of the Month: Jim Bowdish ’91

What is your favorite memory from Lees-McRae College?
I have lots of great memories of Lees-Mcrae. In 1987 there were college programs on Thursday nights with guests like George Lindsey (Goober) and The Elk River Band; there were football games, a National Championship game in Tennessee, a trip to Enid, Oklahoma; there were dances, pep rallies, Spring Fling; there were faculty that knew us by first name; there was Phi Theta Kappa and Order of the Tower… but my best memory was when my picture showed up on a fund raising can and I raised as much as one of the faculty members so we BOTH had our heads shaved at half time at Homecoming in 1990 by Charlie “the Barber”

Can you attribute any of your current success to your time at Lees-McRae College?
Sam Burton once told us business majors “You can’t buy ethics. If you are ever lucky enough to be a trusted advisor or decision maker in business… those whom you serve care LESS about how much you know and MORE about how much you care.” That is still so true.

What advice would you give to current LMC students?
The only way to enjoy your time at Lees-McRae is to get involved. Find passion in what you love to do or learn – and then share that with someone else. I have LMC friends today that I see on a regular basis that lived in Cannon Cottage together.  We were in each other’s weddings. We’ve laughed and cried together. Those friendships started over 20 years ago by being involved in Order of the Tower, Phi Theta Kappa or Student Government.

Why do you feel it is important to give back to LMC?
In 1987, Lees-McRae was a Junior College with only associate degrees offered. In 1991, I earned one of the first Business Degrees offered by Lees-McRae. Lees-McRae gave me a chance to excel in an environment of learning and caring. We started a volunteer income tax assistance program. Some of my classmates are CPAs. We should share what we can of our time, our talent and our resources to an institution that has thrived for more than 110 years.

What are you currently doing?
Today I am married to Susan (Ragan) Bowdish and we have three children. We live in Raleigh. We have two neighbors that went to Lees-McRae! I have worked for Edward Jones Investments as a Financial Advisor since 1998. We are active in Cary Presbyterian Church where I serve as a youth advisor; I am involved with cub scouts, the American Diabetes Association, the West Raleigh Exchange Club, youth baseball, oh, and I play men’s softball. We are busy but LOVE coming to Banner Elk!

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