Father Marion Bowman Scholarship
Hailing from Kentucky, Father Marion Bowman, born Richard Bowman, gravitated toward the religious life and as soon as he graduated from Saint Leo College Preparatory School in 1924, he became a young monk-in-training. In fact, to begin on his path in being a monk, he entered the Abbey as a novice. After the profession of his vows as a Benedictine monk, he was granted the religious name Father Marion.In addition to being a science and mathematics teacher, campus landscape architect, and arborist at the prep school, in September 1932, Father Marion was appointed the varsity coach and athletic director and oversaw the program for a quarter century until he was elected abbot in 1954. During his tenure, Saint Leo became a statewide sports power among Catholic high schools, private academies, and club teams. Father Marion served as the third abbot of Saint Leo, a position he held for 15 years until 1969. During this time, Saint Leo was transforming from a prep school to a college. For most of the 1960s Abbot Marion served as chancellor and was able to raise money to build numerous buildings to aid in the transformation of Saint Leo to a four-year baccalaureate college. Father Marion was hands on in the engineering of some of these buildings since he loved construction and was a self-trained architect and project engineer. The Marion Bowman Center was built the same year Abbot Marion served as acting university president, and thus the athletic center was named for him.Father Marion Bowman died at the age of 94 in 1999.