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Bowdens donate for second scholarship
EIleen Shirley Larry Bowden
Shirley (center) and Larry Bowden (right) are pictured with Eileen Nickels of the PHS Scholarship Fund.

PLATTEVILLE — Shirley and Larry Bowden have donated their second $1,000 scholarship for the PHS Scholarship Fund.

The Bowdens hope to award this year’s scholarship in May to a 2013 PHS graduate who intends to attend Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore and/or major in the nursing field of study.

“Larry and I have benefited greatly from our education and the teachers that impacted our lives,” said Shirley. “Through an IRA distribution, we can help make a technical education more affordable for a student facing the higher costs of today. An IRA distribution is a great way to do this as it enables us to do more due to the tax advantages involved. We would encourage others to consider this approach.”

Shirley Bowden was a nursing educator at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College for more than 20 years. She now enjoys seeing many former students who are employed in rewarding nursing careers in this area. Her own education started in Darlington, proceeded to a nursing diploma at Mercy School of Nursing, continued with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Upper Iowa University, and was completed by a Master of Science in Education degree at UW–Platteville.

“We believe that SWTC has a very strong nursing program,” said Shirley. “The majority of our local area nurses attend this program and we want to help others pursue their nursing careers.”

Larry graduated from Cuba City High School and then from Madison Area Technical College. He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy, He got his bachelor’s degree from UW–Platteville and a Master of Business degree from the University of Dubuque.

“The local businesses that provide matching funds allows our donation to have more impact,” he said. “Both Shirley and I want to support students attending SWTC as it is very affordable and provides an excellent education.”

Now retired, Shirley and Larry are involved in volunteerism. Shirley is on the Board of Directors of the Grant County Historical Society, and a former board member and active current member of the Christian Women’s Thrift Shop helping with its ongoing silent auction. She is also on a task force for the Platteville Area Homeless Coalition.

Larry volunteers at the Potosi Brewery and Museum.

“Shirley and Larry’s charitable contribution of a scholarship for the second year in a row is an example for all of us,” said Gene Weber of the PHS Scholarship Fund. “They understand the challenges facing our post-high school students. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that our last two $1.000 scholarships and two of our recent endowments were set up by professionals who have taught in area education institutions. Educators in our community continue to look out for students now and for the future — a real credit to them and their profession.

“I would strongly encourage others to consider using IRA distributions for their donations — it does allow donors to do more due to the tax advantages.”

“We have been given $11,000 in matching fund donations and the Bowdens are helping us attain those funds yet again,” said Sheila Kelley, president of the PHS Scholarship Fund Board. “The deadline for the challenge match is Feb 28. We very much appreciate the Bowdens’ donation. Gifts of any amount are encouraged.”

The PHS Scholarship Fund’s mission is to expand access to higher education for the students of the Platteville School District. The Fund fulfills this mission primarily be providing higher education scholarships for Platteville graduates to help them further their post-high school education.

The PHS Scholarship Fund is affiliated with the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, a tax exempt 501(c)(3) public charity. To donate to the PHS Scholarship Fund, send a check to the PHS Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 46, Platteville, WI 53818.  Online donations may be made at For further information or to establish a scholarship endowment fund, contact Kelley, 348-2615,, or CFSW Donor Services Representative Barb Daus, 778-3344,