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Mary Stambaugh Bowden named Ada’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year

Nov 9, 2011

Mary Stambaugh Bowden, a lifelong resident of Hardin County, was named Ada’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year at the 46th annual Town and Gown Banquet at Ohio Northern University on Monday, Nov. 7.

While introducing Bowden, Charles VanDyne, 1996 recipient of the award, said, “Mary has been an active and participating member in service organizations, including the Cosmopolitan Club, Tally Ho Club and the ONU Faculty Wives. Not only has she taken an active part in University affairs, she has contributed her time and talents in other community projects.”

Bowden, who was married to Robert Bowden, former chairman of Ohio Northern’s Department of Biology, has five children, four of whom graduated from ONU. She served as a member of the Hardin County Red Cross and secured the Red Cross Water Safety Certificate, assisting the program in giving swimming lessons.

Bowden served as a trustee of the Hardin County Community Foundation, which engages in charitable fundraising and distributes donated funds to worthy causes in the county. She retains emeritus status in the foundation. She also served on the board of directors for Liberty National Bank and spent several years as its chair.

“Mary’s life has truly touched both the town and gown throughout her life. She has been and continues to be a strong and vocal advocate for Ada, the University and the surrounding community,” VanDyne said.

The Town and Gown Association was established in 1957 by a group of townspeople and University personnel whose primary interest was to develop and maintain a strong and positive relationship between the village and the University.

In the second year of its existence in 1958, the association decided to sponsor an annual banquet at which time an individual was to be honored as the Distinguished Citizen of the Year. This tradition continues and is considered the high point of the evening’s program.

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