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Robert's Story

Introduction

Robert Bowsher fell in love with the big state-school atmosphere after attending his parents’ reunions at the University of Illinois. While watching his father become IBM’s first Chief Training Officer and his uncle become Comptroller General of the United States, he learned a strong work ethic and a collaborative leadership style can take you far in life. His mother’s devotion to the Westport Woman’s Club and other charitable organizations taught him the values of community service, decency, kindness, and listening.

The SGB

Robert went to Staples High School where he served as Chairperson of the Staples Governing Board (SGB). A unique experiment in democracy, the SGB was a representative body from the school’s four constituencies (students, faculty, administration, and parents) that was actively engaged in the governance of the Staples community. For his unflagging efforts and vigilance over the SGB, he was nominated and chosen by the faculty to receive the Jan Bryniczka Government Award.

Penn State Years

Robert Bowsher at the Nittany Lion shrineInstead of accepting the offer he received from the University of Illinois, Robert made the best decision of his life by joining the Penn State Class of 1986. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting; his academic achievements earned him memberships in the Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. As an undergraduate, he also held multiple offices in the Kappa Sigma fraternity. During his term as Grand Master of Ceremonies, he collaborated with his fellow brothers to enforce the fraternity’s anti-hazing policy.

After successfully navigating the rigorous Lion Ambassador membership selection process, he served as the group’s Tour Chairman. Portraying Penn State in its best light was his guiding principle throughout the over-100 campus tours he gave to prospective freshman.

A Writer & An Accountant

Robert’s 27-year writing career has covered a wide range of projects including memoirs, tributes, travelogues, study guides, examinations, and procedure manuals. He is also the Senior Accountant and Director of Human Resources for Dolarex, a San Diego company that provides wholesale foreign currency exchange services.

Robert Bowsher LionThrough his work experiences as a business professional and as a writer, he has learned the importance of gaining appropriate perspectives, making decisions based on solid data, taking the necessary time to make wise decisions independent of external pressures, and implementing decisions in ways that maintain the dignity of everyone involved. Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Diego have been his home cities since graduation. He has no insider ties to Penn State or Pennsylvania that would influence his ability to view issues objectively.

An Open & Transparent Life

In 1999, Robert began the process of making his own life open and transparent by coming out of the closet. Since then, he has led an openly gay life and has become more involved with the LGBTQ community. He has served three terms on the Different Strokes Swim Team’s Board of Directors, including one year as the team’s President. He volunteers regularly at San Diego’s Annual Gay Pride Festival, an event that attracts over 100,000 people to the city’s beautiful Balboa Park.

He has also become a stronger and more compassionate man in this process. He has volunteered for the San Diego Hospice’s Patient Care units and its Bereavement Counseling department. He maintains an open-door policy in his workplace for any employee who wishes to speak with him.

Robert is an avid swimmer and golfer who has competed throughout the world. He is also a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association who donates regularly to the Melissa Heydenreich Renaissance Scholarship. He and his Lion Ambassador friends are currently on a quest to see Penn State play in all of the Big Ten football stadiums. They have cheered our beloved Nittany Lions to victory at Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, and his parents’ alma mater Illinois.

 

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