Bowden Center honors namesake’s legacy

By Victoria Cortinas


Artemisia BowdenArtemisia Bowden, for whom Bowden Eye Care Center is named, was considered a visionary for the city of San Antonio.

Born in Albany, Ga., Bowden attended St. Augustine’s Normal, Industrial, and Collegiate School in Raleigh, N.C., where she graduated in 1900.

Upon graduation, Bowden became a teacher for two years in Fayetteville, N.C., before moving to San Antonio to become principal of St. Philip’s Industrial School, a school for young black girls.

St. Philip’s became a junior college in 1927 with Bowden as president, and as the Great Depression created adversity for the college, Bowden put up a fight. Bowden began her campaign to have the San Antonio Independent School District to take it over, and once the city school system did in 1942, Bowden continued her involvement as dean. After 52 years as head of St. Philip’s, Bowden retired in 1954.

Bowden received a bachelor’s degree from St. Augustine’s College in 1935. She was president of the San Antonio Metropolitan Council of Negro Women and was founder and president of the San Antonio Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club. Bowden was also inducted to the Texas Commission on Interracial Relations in 1947. She was named one of the 10 most outstanding woman educators in the United States by the National Council of Negro Women.

Bowden died in San Antonio on Aug. 18, 1969.  The new facility and its services for the community are a tribute to Bowden’s legacy and are dedicated in her memory

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