Flathead Valley Community College honored John Bowdish with the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award on March 22 at the 8th Annual FVCC Alumni & Friends Luncheon. The award is given annually to an individual whose career achievements, service to others and passion for FVCC rise above the rest.
A Flathead Valley farmer and rancher, Bowdish was a non-traditional student who graduated from FVCC in 1986. He was a powerful advocate for relocating the college from downtown Kalispell to its current campus. As an FVCC Foundation board member for 30 years, Bowdish has served as chair of the board and on all of the Foundation’s committees. He was instrumental in establishing the Endowment Fund.
He and his late wife, former FVCC Trustee Shirley Bowdish, donated the use of their family’s land to support hands-on educational opportunities in the college’s forestry and natural resources programs. He continues to be an avid supporter of FVCC’s logger sports program.
When introducing Bowdish as this year’s award winner, 2016 Distinguished Alum Jesse Mahugh recalled the time John and Shirley recycled more than 100,000 pounds of paper over the course of three years to raise money for the college.
“This individual’s love of FVCC and commitment to the mission is exemplified in 30 years of continued involvement and support,” said Mahugh.