The June 2012 limelight shines upon Marcy Bowie from Public Safety!
We have a hidden treasure over in the northeastern corner of our campus, and her name is Marcy Bowie. Marcy’s life commitment to “be of service to others” reaches far beyond her job description here at Saint Mary’s College. Peer through the glass at the Public Safely counter, and you will most likely see Marcy multitasking with students that have been cited for public safety or parking violations, offering invaluable administrative assistance to our public safety officers and chief, or issuing parking permits to students, faculty and staff alike. However, spend some time on the other side of that glass enclosure, and you find an insightful student mentor and compassionate community volunteer that has fashioned a remarkable life around her spiritual faith and leads a life of integrity that includes her quest to help those in need.
Back in 2003, Marcy was working as an office manager at the Concord Tabernacle Christian School where her son Joe was attending school. It was after he graduated that she found herself “looking for a change and new challenges.” Luckily for us, she found what she was looking for here. Marcy says what keeps her “dream job” here at Saint Mary’s motivating are the students. “You have to be engaged, even when students come in and are mad at me; I always try and remember to be engaged. I often tell students that when they go out into the real world, consequences will be harder, but here at Saint Mary’s we all make mistakes and we all have the desire to be forgiven.” Marcy makes it clear that what she finds most enjoyable about her job is “getting to see the students that have been in trouble here blossom and turn out to be contributing members of society. What’s rewarding is seeing that you make a big difference in some students’ lives.”
Marcy finds Saint Mary’s to be a “beautiful place to work, because whether it’s hot, foggy, snowing or raining, driving down that driveway and seeing the chapel, it’s just like, ahhh." Marcy thoroughly enjoys her colleagues in Public Safety and says they are “the best.” The most challenging aspect of her job is “crunch time,” when fall semester and Jan Term begins and she’s assisting incoming transfer and study abroad students in addition to the general Saint Mary’s population. Marcy offers community service opportunities for students in lieu of financial fines to work-off parking citations, and explains, “I always try and encourage the community service option, because the next year they can sometimes be seen volunteering at the same place on their own accord. It’s just nice to get them out there meeting people around campus that they wouldn’t meet otherwise.” If you look for Marcy on any given day, you will see that she lives by example. She will often be found helping to organize the "Pretty in Pink" Tea and Luncheon or looking after the softball team where she steps into the official role as their team moderator. Or as Marcy defines it, their “glorified team mom.”
Now that her only child Joe is earning his Masters in Sports Management degree from USF, Marcy’s family life revolves around her wire-haired terrier mix “empty nest rescue dogs,” Sugar and Spice. She and her husband Mark have been married for thirty-two years, and enjoy their numerous service-learning commitments at New Life Christian Fellowship in Concord together. After becoming a Christian in 1998, Marcy’s life has evolved into a rich life of service, and her favorite church gig is leading the Breakout Workshop at New Life where she mentors third, fourth and fifth graders on “knowing Christ and growing in Christ.” Not surprisingly, Marcy fosters a girl named Sheila who lives in Burma, whom she found through World Vision. Marcy’s sister lives in Fresno, her brother and half-sister live in Brentwood, she has another brother in Concord and another sister in Minnesota, and her mother lives in San Juan Bautista, California (near the mission). Marcy has a large family that she values “above all else.”
Of all of her volunteer commitments, closest to her heart is the Friends Feeding Friends Foundation, which was founded by the mother of a young girl named Sarah that Marcy knew from Tabernacle who died unexpectedly in 2003. In conjunction with the Concord Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and the Concord Homeless Shelters & Services, this organization feeds homeless families and provides necessities in honor of Sarah. Among the personal photographs displayed in her office, Marcy gravitates towards Sarah’s photo as she voices the story of how this dark tragedy has brought light into so many people’s lives.
Besides the photos and her picturesque collection of crosses beautifying her office wall, there is a large quilt displayed (see Marcy’s photo) that depicts her expert quilting skills, a favorite hobby of hers that rivals her passion for knitting. Marcy belongs to the LOL Knitters (“that’s Laugh Out Loud, not Little Old Ladies”) group, which consists of ten women that have been knitting and bonding for the past five years. One of the main highlights of Marcy’s year is the annual LOL Pajaro Dunes weekend, where some wine and knitting are outdone only by first-rate friendships. Marcy has such a passion for knitting that she founded the distinguished SMC Knitters Club (which is currently accepting new knitters!).
Marcy’s perfect day would take place on our campus of all places, and it would involve a situation where a student that has been “in trouble” with Public Safety has come back and thanked her for not judging them. Marcy explains, “When a student comes back in to thank me, now that’s a perfect day. If you know you’ve made a positive difference in a student’s life, what more can there be, right?”
Unimpressed by material riches, Marcy opts for a “simple yet inspirational” life, and confides, “I could live in a small shack, and be happy.” When asked about her vast volunteer commitments and the enormous amount of time and energy she expends in these roles, Marcy just smiles and says, “It is just better to give than to receive. It’s true, you know. In fact, if more people could say they feel that way about life, they would feel so much better about themselves and their lives.”
When praised for all her gracious and selfless efforts, Marcy responds, “The blessing is mine.” Clearly, having Marcy Bowie here in our community actually means, that the blessing is ours.