Even after a decade, the tears still flow and the hugs are both needed and welcomed surrounding this particular gathering. Last Friday, on a beautiful fall afternoon in Columbia, Missouri, members of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club of Central Missouri delivered a gift of more than $4,000 for the Columbia College Molly S. Thomas Bowden ’02 Memorial Scholarship.
The scholarship was founded in honor of Bowden by Columbia College faculty member Dr. Joseph Carrier following her death while in the line of duty for the Columbia Police Department in 2005. A female student majoring in criminal justice is awarded the scholarship every year.
“This is a way to keep Molly’s legacy and story alive, basically,” said Corey Bowden ’98, Molly Bowden’s husband at the time of her death. “To do something and be able to give back in her name, personally for me, it helps me heal a little bit.”
Corey Bowden, who is an officer with the Columbia Police Department and a member of the local chapter of the Blue Knights, said the group hosts an annual poker run fundraiser and donated the proceeds to the scholarship and have done so for several years.
The gift presentation took place next to the Molly S. Thomas Bowden memorial tree, which is located on the Bass Commons at Columbia College. Among those in attendance for the presentation were Molly Bowden’s parents, Dave and Beverly ’92 Thomas; and niece, Brooke; the 2015-16 scholarship recipient, Brittany R. Fangrow; Blue Knights member Tony Perkins ’97; and several members of the Columbia College Advancement team.
“What’s really special is that we (the Bowden or Thomas family) had nothing to do with getting this scholarship started. It was Columbia College,” Corey Bowden said. “It’s just really special that this was something the family didn’t have to spearhead, and that’s another reason I really like to support it.”