Indiana State University Newsroom



Married couple, both ISU alums, gives $30,000 for aviation scholarship

December 17, 2020

Former FedEx executive Jim Bowman and his wife Shana have created a new endowed scholarship at Indiana State University to support students pursuing degrees in aviation. The Jim and Shana Bowman Aviation Endowed Scholarship was established through the couple’s gift of $30,000.

“We are so grateful for the generous support of Jim and Shana Bowman,” said Nesli Alp, Dean of the College of Technology. “Our aviation program is a point of pride for the College of Technology, and we couldn’t be more proud of Jim’s exceptional career, rising to the top of his field. We look forward to awarding this scholarship to prepare future leaders in aviation for years to come.”

The Bowmans, who met at Indiana State, are graduates of ISU. Shana was a third-generation Sycamore, earning her degree in 1978. Jim was one of three siblings to attend ISU, and earned a degree in aviation administration in 1977.  He was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy and went on to a 33-year career at FedEx, retiring in 2019 as the company’s Senior Vice President for Flight Operations.

Shana began her career as a nurse, practicing in Mississippi, Virginia, Tennessee, and Indiana, and volunteered as a school nurse. Jim is quick to point out that his aviation career was a family affair. “There is no way I could have had this career without Shana’s support and organizing ability,” he said. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

Said Russ Duvall, a longtime friend and mentor who met Jim when Jim was a teenager: “Jim and Shana have approached their life together with a commitment to service. I think that when Jim looks back to where he was as a young man, he understands that it’s about paying it forward, that there were people along the way who helped him get to where he is today.”

While at FedEx, Jim was instrumental in bringing the FedEx Purple Runway program to ISU. In its second year, this program is providing $500,000 in scholarships over five years to ISU students training to become professional pilots.

The Bowmans’ new scholarship will support students from Indiana who are pursuing degrees in the university’s Department of Aviation Technology, which offers majors in aviation management, professional aviation flight technology, and unmanned systems.

“I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jim and Shana and hearing their ISU story,” said Andrea Angel, Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation. “They embrace the importance of giving back to their alma mater, and from our first meeting, they said they wanted their gift to inspire others to give back too. Not only will their leadership help our students but it will also foster pride among other aviation alumni.”

Photo of Jim and Shana Bowman

Story Highlights

Former FedEx executive Jim Bowman and his wife Shana have created a new endowed scholarship at Indiana State University to support students pursing degrees in aviation. The Jim and Shana Bowman Aviation Scholarship was established through the couple.

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