President Katherine A. Rowe sent the following message to faculty and staff on Aug. 10, 2023. – Ed.

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share news that Raymond Bernard Bowman Sr. passed away on July 11. For 36 years, Mr. Bowman oversaw logistics and security at the Wren Building until his retirement in 2018. 

Known affectionately as the “Keeper of the Wren,” Mr. Bowman was a cherished member of this community. He supervised the ringing of the Wren bell on the last day of classes, countless club inductions, university dinners and weddings. To every gathering, he brought characteristic warmth, grace, calmness and humor. He had an eye for detail and ensured that each ceremony went off without a hitch. 

Mr. Bowman’s incredible dedication to the Wren and this community earned him deep respect and appreciation. In 2009, he received the Duke Award in recognition of his excellence.

Prior to coming to William & Mary, Mr. Bowman served in the U.S. Army before returning to Williamsburg. He worked for more than two decades at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

The full obituary for Mr. Bowman may be found online. Presidents Emeriti Taylor Reveley and Tim Sullivan published a remembrance of Mr. Bowman in the W&M Magazine. A memorial service was held on July 19 at Bethel Restoration Center.


Katherine A. Rowe