For University of Maryland Global Campus’s 75th anniversary, we spoke with alumnus Joe Bowen about some of his favorite UMGC experiences and where he hopes to see the university in years to come. Bowen earned two master’s degrees from UMGC, one in general administration in 1984 and one in international management in 1995. He served as the senior vice president of operations and managing principal of the Washington, D.C., office of McKissack & McKissack, an architecture and construction management firm.
Prior to joining McKissack in 2000, Bowen served University of Maryland Global Campus for 30 years in senior leadership positions. He was responsible for facilities management, capital projects, real estate development, and more.
In addition to his work at UMGC, Bowen is an avid volunteer dedicated to supporting and advancing the alumni community. In 1998, Bowen received the Edward A. Parnell Outstanding Alumnus Award for his extensive volunteer efforts. After serving as an Alumni Association Board member, he was elected the 2000-2001 President of the Alumni Association Board. More than 20 years later, Bowen continues to provide input and guidance to the Board as an Alumni Association Past President.
Bowen has also served for more than 20 years as the UMGC alumni representative at Alumni Association International, an organization established to support alumni of educational institutions in the University System of Maryland. During his time as the UMGC representative at Alumni Association International he served on the executive committee and as president.
What was your favorite part about studying at UMGC?
When I attended UMGC, all classes were in person. My classes and professors were outstanding.
Can you name some UMGC faculty or other students who made a significant impact on your time at UMGC?
Milt Grodsky, who was the founding dean of the UMGC graduate school, was my advisor for my first master’s degree and was very instrumental in arranging my internship/capstone project with Lockheed Martin in 1984.
If you had one word to describe your experience at UMGC, what would it be and why?
Exceptional. The opportunity to experience faculty who were actually in the workforce made their teaching more relevant.
What one piece of advice would you want to share with UMGC students as they pursue their educational goals?
Enjoy the ride.
UMGC is celebrating 75 years of excellence in education. What does that history mean to you? Why is it important?
I have been involved in one way or another with UMGC for 50 years, and its history is like no other higher education institution.
Where do you hope to see UMGC in the next 75 years?
UMGC has been serving the same students since 1947, so I hope that continues for the next 75 years.