Town of Normal names "Citizens of the Year"

By Beau Ebenezer

July 25, 2013 Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 9:59 AM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. --Former Illinois State University President Al Bowman and his wife Linda were honored Thursday night as the town of Normal's "Citizens of the Year".

Mayor Chris Koos presented the couple with the award during a reception at the Corn Crib in Normal.

Al Bowman, who retired in May after serving the University for 35 years, said that one of his greatest achievements as president was moving the University into the top 100 ranking for public universities, according to U.S. News and World Reports.

His wife Linda Bowman, who currently teaches at ISU, has been active in multiple programs in the community, including the American Red Cross of the Heartland and the Children's Discovery Museum.

"In a lot of ways I feel like the award is for the University and not me personally," said Bowman. "The institution has made phenomenal progress in a very difficult environment. It was an honor to have been its leader for 10 years."

"We generally don't look at one thing," said Koos. "We look at a lifetime of service, which is usually what makes a person eligible for this award. They certainly have it all."

Officials said the last time they gave out co-citizen of the year awards was 10 years ago.

Bowman said he will begin to teach at ISU with his wife this fall.

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