Jacob T. Bowne came to the School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College) in 1885 to head the YMCA Secretarial Department. Bowne was the first head of the department, which trained young men for work as executives at YMCAs in the United States and around the world. Bowne is known as the “father of professional education” in the YMCA and worked at Springfield College until his retirement in 1925. While at the college, Bowne played an integral role in the building of Marsh Memorial Library and became the school’s first librarian. Bowne was known for his modesty and whenever anyone tried to express their gratitude to him his response was always “pass it on.” An avid collector and the YMCA’s first archivist, Bowne’s YMCA materials form the basis for the YMCA archives housed at the University of Minnesota. Bowne died shortly after his retirement in 1925 at the age of 78.
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