Bowman, Anna Mae (1930-2020)

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Anna Bowman
Photo courtesy of Goshen College Communication and Marketing

Anna Mae Bowman: associate professor emerita of social work and director emerita of women’s studies at Goshen College; born 4 April 1930 in Wilmot Township near Kitchener, Ontario, Canada to Aaron Bowman (1892-1968) and Selinda Cressman Bowman (1892-1974). Bowman was the youngest of four children. She died 4 July 2020 at her residence in Kitchener, Ontario. She is buried in the Wilmot Mennonite Church cemetery.

Bowman spent her early life on the family farm and was unable to continue in school past grade eight. At 21 years old, Bowman began a voluntary service assignment with Mennonite Central Committee in New York at Wiltwyck School for Boys, a school for juvenile offenders, where she was soon introduced to social workers and the profession.

Influenced by her service experiences, Bowman attended Goshen College and graduated with a degree in sociology in 1959. Bowman went on to earn a Master of Social Work degree from Smith College School for Social Work in 1961.

Following graduation, Bowman worked as a professional social worker. She was a clinician and community action worker for seven years before becoming director of Warden Woods Community Service, and later director of personnel training at Children’s Aid Society in Toronto from 1960 to 1978.

Bowman returned to Goshen College in 1979 as a professor in the social work department, teaching courses in sociology and social work, such as contemporary women’s issues, human behavior, child welfare, and developmental disabilities. During Bowman’s 20 years of service at the college, Bowman was dedicated to the institution and the surrounding community in many ways.

The Social Work Education Program was first accredited in 1978, and Bowman served as its director from 1980 to 1986. She was instrumental in developing the Women Studies Program at the college and served as its director for 15 years before her retirement in 1998.

After her retirement, the Anna M. Bowman Social Work Scholarship at Goshen College was established in her name. The scholarship honors her excellence as a teacher and practitioner, and her forthrightness, honesty, and integrity in her dealings with people.

Additionally, Bowman was a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Indiana Association of Social Work Educators, the Board of Directors of the Family Counseling of Elkhart, and the Association for the Disabled of Elkhart County.


Miller, Mackenzie. "Anna Bowman, retired social work professor and a founder of women’s studies program, dies at 90." Goshen College News. 8 July 2020. Web. 13 July 2020.

Author(s) Mackenzie Miller
Date Published July 2020

Cite This Article

MLA style

Miller, Mackenzie. "Bowman, Anna Mae (1930-2020)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2020. Web. 27 Sep 2023.,_Anna_Mae_(1930-2020)&oldid=168809.

APA style

Miller, Mackenzie. (July 2020). Bowman, Anna Mae (1930-2020). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 September 2023, from,_Anna_Mae_(1930-2020)&oldid=168809.

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