Endowed Professorship in Librarianship at the iSchool established by Virginia & Charles Bowden

Virginia & Charles Bowden Endowed Professorship in Librarianship

The University of Texas at Austin School of Information is pleased to announce the establishment of the Virginia & Charles Bowden Endowed Professorship in Librarianship, thanks to a generous $500,000 gift from iSchool alumna, Virginia Massey Bowden, and her husband, Charles L. Bowden. The Bowden’s endowment is the largest non-estate gift the School of Information has ever received.

Throughout the iSchool’s history, from its founding in 1948 to today, librarianship has been and continues to remain an important pillar of the school. Building on the iSchool’s legacy of innovation in library scholarship, this newly endowed professorship augments the iSchool’s ongoing commitment to training exceptional leaders in the field of librarianship. We are excited to partner with the Bowdens in advancing our shared value in libraries as essential institutions where information serves humanity for social good.

“The Bowdens have consistently been generous supporters of the iSchool over the years and I am delighted that this gift will establish a permanent legacy in their names,” iSchool Dean Eric T. Meyer said. “We plan to use this significant gift to attract a top scholar to join the iSchool who can play a leadership role in ensuring that Texas is at the cutting edge of what is happening in libraries.”

Building on the iSchool’s legacy of innovation in library scholarship, this newly endowed professorship augments the iSchool’s ongoing commitment to training exceptional leaders in the field of librarianship.

Dr. Virginia Massey Bowden is a member of the iSchool’s Advisory Council and is Library Director Emeritus at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). She earned her Ph.D. in Library Science at the iSchool while also working full time as UTHSCSA's Library Director. During her 33 year tenure at the Health Science Center, Dr. Bowden was active in the Medical Library Association and several Texas library associations. She received various grants and served on the Biomedical Library Review Committee of the National Library of Medicine. Prior to her work in librarianship, Dr. Bowden was a programmer for Texaco, Inc. and other companies. She chose to transition her computer knowledge to the library science profession by earning a master's degree in Library Science from the University of Kentucky at Lexington. She also holds a B.A. in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin, which is where she met Charles Bowden. The university library’s reading room remains a special place for the couple since they spent many hours together there as undergraduates.

Dr. Charles L. Bowden is Professor Emeritus at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). He attended The University of Texas at Austin and earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Bowden completed his training in psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, followed by two years in the Public Health Service in Lexington, Kentucky. He then joined the UTHSCSA as a professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and held the Nancy U. Karren Endowed Chair in Psychiatry.

In 1992, Virginia and Charles established the Bowden-Massey Foundation, which primarily funds psychiatric research and library and information science research. The Bowdens are proud to endow this professorship in librarianship because both recognize the importance of libraries.

June 12, 2020