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Faces Behind the Places of DePauw University

This guide includes historical information about the people behind DePauw University's building names.

Thomas Bowman

Bishop Thomas BowmanBishop Thomas Bowman, fourth president of DePauw University, was elected on June 29, 1858 and served until 1872. At his inauguration he was described as "grave as a judge, and as pleasant as a woman. His common sense and conciliatory spirit will probably keep him by still waters and in pretty good pastures." During his fourteen years, he saw the university through the Civil War as well as the first admission of female students in the fall of 1867. He set off construction for East College and laid the first cornerstone of the building in 1870. In addition to his time as university president, lecturer and board of trustees member and president, he also served as chaplain of the United States Senate from May 1864-March 1865. Bowman died in 1914, aged 96.

Bowman GymAfter his death, his daughter, Sally Bowman Caldwell, one of eleven children, provided the organ for Meharry Hall and much of the funds for Bowman Memorial Gymnasium in honor of her father. The gymnasium was built in 1915 by alumni and friends to accommodate the departments of physical education for men and women. It included a swimming pool, an auditorium for large gatherings and meeting rooms for student activities. The large Hugh Dougherty Room on the main floor, named for the president of the Board of Trustees, was for the use of the YMCA and YWCA. The dedication took place in 1916 and included a speech by former United States Vice President Charles Fairbanks. The building was razed in the mid-1980s. It once resided in the present day, Bowman Park.