Joe Bowen

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The Reverend Joe Brown Bowen, Jr., Class of 1956, a Tiger Letterman, played football at Clemson Agricultural College under Coach Frank Howard in 1953 and 1955. (Reference: Bowen was the first Clemson football player to win the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, given "in recognition of the recipient's influence for good, excellence in maintaining high ideals of living and genuine and disinterested service to others." The award, named in honor of the first president of the New York Southern Society, was established by an agreement between Clemson University and the New York Southern Society. It is awarded annually to two students and one non-student during the university's spring commencement ceremony. (Reference:

Bowen received his MDV at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, in 1959, and became a Methodist minister. He received his DM at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois, in 1983.

As of 2008 he was a retired minister of Alpharetta United Methodist Church, Alpharetta, Georgia. He has a wife, Harriette, and two children, Lucy and Bruce. (Reference: Clemson Alumni Assocation, "Clemson Alumni: Today 2008", Harris Connect, Inc., Chesapeake, Virginia, 2007, XNJH-W117-8R-96.3VA, page 137.)

An anecdote

"One morning over at our Coffee Club at the Holiday Inn we were talking about the success many of my former players had achieved. I had just made a comment that I had several former players who became preachers. And wouldn't you know it, about that time one of them walked in the motel dining room. His name was Joe Bowen. He married a local Clemson girl. They had come back to visit her parents and at the same time get some good home cooking. I called Joe over to where we were drinking coffee. I said, 'Reverend Bowen, did you ever play football for me?' And he answered, 'Hell, yes. And I heard the Lord's name used more often on the football practice field than I ever did in seminary.'" - Frank Howard, Head football coach, 1940-1969

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