Meet President Bowman | Capital University, Columbus Ohio


Meet President Bowman


    Denvy Bowman
    Dr. Denvy Bowman

    15th President of Capital University

    Denvy A. Bowman, Ph.D., was named the 15th president of Capital University in March 2007 following a 10-month term as interim president. In 2015, he announced he would retire from the presidency at the end of his 10th year and has been succeeded by Dr. Elizabeth "Beth" L. Paul as of July 1, 2016.

    As president, Dr. Bowman provided strong, collaborative leadership and garnered the trust and respect of students, the faculty, his senior administrative team and the Board of Trustees, infusing transparency into all University operations. 

    During his tenure, Capital has enjoyed consecutive, multimillion-dollar operating surpluses, record-level giving from an engaged and growing alumni and friend base, historic highs in new and returning student enrollment, and significant reinvestment in improving campus safety and modernizing classrooms, residence halls and technology.

    As a result of his emphasis on strategic enrollment management, Capital’s incoming students are more diverse and better prepared academically, and student retention has improved, reversing a multiyear trend of decline. Capital also completed a comprehensive strategic plan, Our Focus, Our Future, spearheaded by Dr. Bowman, charting a new course for a bold and compelling future.

    Deeply committed to forging innovative partnerships to engage students in learning experiences that shape them as intellectuals and as good citizens, President Bowman launched the Empathy Experiment. The project blended traditional learning with intense immersive experiences designed to put students in someone else's shoes to explore whether empathy can be taught, and if so, whether it can be harnessed to effect social change.

    Capital partnered with local social service organizations deeply connected to relevant social issues to explore empathy and unpack the complexity of some of society’s most persistent challenges. Community partners have included more than a dozen businesses and social service agencies, including Goodwill Columbus, Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio, YWCA Columbus, Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus, Columbus City Schools, Columbus Public Health, Whole Foods Market, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Special Olympics Ohio, The Harmony Project and Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services.

    Prior to his presidency, Dr. Bowman served as Capital’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, the unanimous choice of the search committee following a national search. He initially joined Capital in summer 2003 as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He remains a full professor and teaches, when time permits, in the Department of History.

    Before coming to Capital, Dr. Bowman served as dean of the Arts and Humanities Division at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. Prior to that, he served as associate dean of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. Also at Coastal Carolina University, he served as chair of the Department of History and the director of the University Honors Program. 

    Dr. Bowman holds a doctorate in ancient history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a master’s degree in ancient history from the University of Virginia; and a bachelor’s degree in history from Roanoke College. A teacher at heart, he remains very intentional in creating opportunities to support and engage with students. 

    He serves on the boards of The Ohio State University Hospital East, Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Ohio Athletic Conference President’s Council, which he chaired from 2011 to 2013.

    When he’s not teaching or interacting with students, Dr. Bowman is an avid runner, reader, moviegoer and collector of modern art.