Timothy Bowen exemplifies a life long learner, and owes the success of his working years to a librarian who took an interest in him and encouraged him to read.
Bowen’s love for libraries started in the 1940s when he was in his last years of high school. He admits to being a teen not interested in doing his best in school and was heading down the wrong track until one day, he stopped in at a public library.
“For whatever reason, this librarian felt some calling to reach out to a wayward teenager,” said Bowen. “She took the time to talk with me and encouraged me to read. This human saint made a difference. I continued to meet with her; she was adamant in her suggestions of good books to read, fiction and nonfiction.”
After graduating high school he entered the University of North Carolina, served two tours in the Navy, worked for a pharmaceutical company, and then managed a real estate company at Lake Norman.
“My success would have been impossible if that Saint had not entered my life at a critical point,” said Bowen.
Bowen said he visits libraries as often as he can, and before moving to be closer to his family, rode the county transportation van to Mayland Community College’s Mitchell Campus once a week to visit the College’s Learning Resources Center (LRC). The LRC acts as both an instructional support system and an information network. Services are provided not only to the faculty, staff, and students of Mayland Community College, but also to any resident of Avery, Mitchell, or Yancey counties. Resources include print and non-print materials, electronic resources, audio-visual equipment, and workshops/orientations. The facility is located on the second floor of Gwaltney Hall on the Mitchell Campus.
“I was made aware of Mayland Community College by the C.N.A.s that care for me and my wife,” said Bowen. “I was impressed by the excellent care we have received and asked the C.N.A.s where they were trained. They told me Mayland.”
Bowen enjoyed meeting others while on campus as well as getting to know the LRC staff as he worked on a history project involving The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.
“While I have been at Mayland I have observed the College’s vision and mission statements in action,” Bowen said. “I can see why Mayland has been ranked in the top 1 % of community colleges in the nation.”
Pictured from left to right are Mayland Community College’s LRC Director Jon Wilmesherr, LRC patron Tim Bowen, and the LRC Technical Services Librarian Eric King.