Concert Dedicates Bowden Organ


A concert to dedicate the Bowden Organ will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, in Reynolds Recital Hall. The public is invited to attend free of charge. The recital is in honor of Jeannette Bowden, who worked as a secretary in the NMU president’s office for many years and continues to support the university after retirement. It falls on her 91st birthday. A 4:30 p.m. reception will follow the performance by organist R. Jelani Eddington.


“The new digital organ is a nice addition that will complement the diverse music program at Northern,” said Martha Van Der Kamp (NMU Foundation). “It will also add to the enjoyment for music lovers in the region who will have an opportunity to listen to a world-class instrument. We are grateful for this most recent expression of Mrs. Bowden’s generosity.”

Bowden has also donated an estate gift to assist with the digital technology transition for WNMU TV-FM, and endowed the Harry A. Rajala Scholarship in Education.


Originally from Bessemer, she attended what is now Gogebic Community College for two years until she transferred to Northern State Teachers College (now NMU) in 1934. She was an honors graduate, receiving her bachelor’s degree in French with minors in English and mathematics in 1936. One month before commencement, she was asked to take over the duties as secretary to the president until a permanent replacement could be found. Shortly after, she accepted the position permanently, even though she had intended to become a teacher. Bowden remained in that position from 1936 to 1980, serving under five presidents. Upon her retirement, she was honored with emeritus status by the NMU Board of Control. She remains one of NMU’s longest-serving staff members in a full-time capacity.


The concert is sponsored by the NMU Board of Trustees, NMU Foundation Board of Trustees and President Les Wong.


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Updated: October 26, 2005

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