Bowen scholarship supports FPU students entering teaching or music

The desire to honor the memory of friends and the future of students is the drive behind a new endowed scholarship at Fresno Pacific University.

The Weldon and Eloise Bowen Scholarship will provide $5,000 per year to students with financial need interested in careers in either music or education, particularly teaching people with special needs. The fund was set up by Janz and Patricia Mynderup on behalf of the Bowen estate.

The Fresno couples became friends in the 1980s at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. They ministered together again at The Windham retirement community when the Bowens became residents and decided to organize religious services. The Bowens were both persistent and successful at persuading people to weekly worship.

“They were overtly subtle,” Janz said. “They would tell people ‘You need to come’.” Patricia agreed, “Eloise was very outspoken, but had a charming way about her.”

Starting almost 10 years ago, services grew from four or five people to a full church. The Mynderups continue to lead the effort since the death of Weldon in 1999 at age 91 and Eloise at age 95 in 2000.

Eloise Bowen was a housewife. A Navy veteran, Weldon worked as a manager for Sears and Firestone. He was also a successful private investor, and was not shy about spreading the gospel of saving. “He would tell me, ‘Janz, you’ve got to put something away every month—$100 is enough,” Janz said. Janz Mynderup served on university advisory groups and is currently an independent financial adviser.

The Mynderups suggested FPU to the Bowens as a way to continue their interest in education, music and the young. The Bowens had several teachers in their family and knew some alumni. The scholarship is an investment in people and the future. “They wanted everything to multiply,” Janz said.

Fresno Pacific University is an accredited Christian university ranked fifth among best values among Western universities—master’s category by U.S. News & World Report. Located on a 42-acre campus in southeast Fresno, FPU has an enrollment of 1,900 students—half in graduate and half in undergraduate programs. The university also enrolls 12,000 students annually in its professional development studies programs offered locally and throughout the world.