Bowman gives $5M to Va. Tech for land development program
CEO is Tech engineering alum
Reston-based Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. founder and CEO Gary Bowman committed $5 million to Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering for the expansion of sustainable land development learning initiatives, the university announced Monday.
“The Bowman gift solidifies Virginia Tech as the premier undergraduate and graduate programs in the field of sustainable land development,” Mark Widdowson, head of the Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said in a statement. “In partnership with the land development industry and through the generosity of Gary Bowman, our department has set the standard for curriculum innovation and experiential learning that will enrich the education of civil engineering students for years and decades to come.”
The donation will establish the Bowman Sustainable Land Development Program, serving both undergraduate and graduate students. The sustainable land development master’s program, currently in its second year, will fall under the program, as will the Land Development Design Initiative (LDDI), which will be renamed but will continue to allow people and organizations in the industry to provide input on curriculum and to provide students with mentoring and experiential learning opportunities, like field trips and practitioner-led workshops.
Virginia Tech established LDDI in 2005.
“When I began to recruit students from Virginia Tech 25 years ago, most students were unaware of land development design as a potential career path,” Bowman said in a statement. “The establishment of LDDI resulted in a sea change in awareness among Virginia Tech students of land development design as a desirable career choice. Clearly the industry, and our company, has benefited from the influx of well-prepared young talent.”
Bowman graduated from Virginia Tech in 1980 with a degree in civil and environmental engineering. He was a principal at Urban Engineering for 15 years before founding engineering services firm Bowman Consulting Group in 1995. Started with five employees, the company now has 1,700 employees. It went public in May 2021.
Bowman serves on the College of Engineering Advisory Board and has served on the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s alumni board in the past. He is a member of the department’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Bowman also served on the LDDI’s leadership board in its early years.
“The program has withstood the test of time and has blossomed into a mature program educating a tremendous number of students,” Bowman said in a statement. “My hope is that this gift will be the beginning of a new level of support for the program that will ensure its long-term durability and provide resources to enable it to continue to grow and evolve.”