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Bowling scholarship continues Kokomo doctor's community legacy

August 7, 2014
KOKOMO, Ind. —Dr. Richard Bowling and his wife, Nanette, both had long careers serving people — he as a doctor, she as an educator — in the Kokomo community.

Dr. Richard N. Bowling ScholarshipNanette Bowling (L) stands next to Tamika Triiplett, the Dr. Richard N. Bowling Scholarship 2014 recipient

After Richard Bowling passed away in 2000, Nanette Bowling searched for a way to continue his legacy of giving. She found her opportunity through Indiana University Kokomo, where she established the Dr. Richard N. Bowling Scholarship, which supports African American students in a health care field.

"My husband was a great believer in education, and continuing education, and I am too," she said. "The scholarship is exciting. It's inspiring, and if he were here, he would be very happy. We were grateful for the opportunity we received at IU Kokomo. It enabled him to get the start of his education. I would not have been able to graduate from college if there had not been a campus here."

For Tamika Triplett, Kokomo, the most recent recipient, the scholarship means she can continue pursuing her degree in nursing.

"I was really worried how I would be able to pay to finish my degree," she said. "This will help me finish my program, so I can advance in my career."

Triplett, who grew up in Peru, is a sophomore in the School of Nursing. In addition to being a student, she works full time as a certified nursing assistant at Golden LivingCenter-Sycamore Village in Kokomo, caring for residents with Alzheimer's disease. Also, she is a single mother to a son, 16, and a daughter, 14.

She was inspired to go into nursing by her grandfather, who had Alzheimer's.

"As a registered nurse, I can make a difference for my patients," Triplett said. "That means the world to me. I appreciate this scholarship for helping make my dream come true."

Richard Bowling made a difference in Kokomo, establishing his medical practice in 1962, after graduating from medical school at Howard University. He began his education at IU Kokomo. For more than 30 years, he sponsored a Christmas party for underprivileged children at the Carver Community Center. As the party grew, he brought in sponsors, including the American Legion Post 177, and asked local merchants to donate toys or money.

After he died, Nanette Bowling continued the party, but started thinking about how her husband's legacy could have a greater impact.

"I kept thinking about the old Chinese proverb, 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, and he can feed himself for a lifetime,'" she said. "What better way to continue his legacy than to support others as they earn degrees at IU Kokomo?"

In addition to her own contribution to endow the scholarship, many of those who gave for the Christmas party each year donated for the scholarship. She said the process to establish the scholarship was easy.

"I was given the ability to talk about exactly what I wanted, and was able to put it into practice," she said. "I found this to be a simple process."

For more information about contributing to the Dr. Richard N. Bowling Scholarship, or about establishing a scholarship, contact Cathy Clearwaters, assistant director of development, at 765-455-9504 or cclearwa@iuk.edu.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 01/06/2015