Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

McCormick Honors Gilbert W. Bowen at Annual Award Dinner


McCormick Theological Seminary will honor the Rev. Dr. Gilbert “Gil” W. Bowen with the Legacy of Leadership Award at its annual gala, Friday, October 12, 2018.


Rev. Dr. Gilbert Bowen


The Legacy of Leadership Award honors individuals whose vision has inspired transformational change in the world and celebrates trailblazers who embody McCormick’s vision, practice radical inclusivity, innovate in their fields, and support a new, more diverse generation of leadership.

Dr. Bowen, a former McCormick Trustee and double McCormick alumnus, has served several churches in his pastoral career. He began in Minnesota, participated in a one-year pastoral exchange in Germany, served Illinois churches in Tinley Park, Mount Prospect and Oak Park and served the last and longest part of his career at as senior minister of Kenilworth Union Church (KUC), the oldest Christian nondenominational church in the country and he continues to serve KUC as Minister Emeritus. During Dr. Bowen’s tenure at Kenilworth Union, the congregation grew from 400 to 3,200 adult members with a church school of 1,000 children.

For most of his retirement, Dr. Bowen, together with his late wife of over sixty years, Marlene, continued to travel and lead study tours on three continents. Dr. Bowen continues to preach and leads a popular lecture series at Presbyterian Homes’ Westminster Place, Evanston. He and Marlene also oversaw grants of $150,000 annually to dozens of charitable organizations through the Gil & Marlene Bowen Christian Outreach Fund, an endowment fund created by Kenilworth Union upon Dr. Bowen’s retirement.

President David Crawford said, “It is with great joy we present this year’s Legacy of Leadership Award to Dr. Gil Bowen. That we are honoring Gil will come as no surprise to his many, many friends as we are simply acknowledging that which they have known for decades. Dr. Gil Bowen, his wonderful wife Marlene, and the entire Bowen family nurtured and led a thriving, involved, and generous community at Kenilworth Union that had transformative impact throughout the region and, indeed, around the world. We are so grateful to Gil for accepting this award, and extend our gratitude to his family, and to the wonderful leadership and congregation at Kenilworth Union Church.”

The Legacy of Leadership Award dinner will be held Friday, October 12, 2018 at the Hotel Orrington, Evanston and begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner and program beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities.