Alpha Zeta Still Bearing Fruit for Bill Bowers ‘69

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Bill Bowers pledged Alpha Zeta in 1966, with the hopes of fostering both experience and friendship to enhance his college experience. Bowers had no doubt that AZ was the fraternity with the promise of both, as his brothers were like-minded in their studies in agriculture, focus on academics as well as strong involvement in leadership for other campus organizations.

"At AZ, I learned to work together with my pledge class to learn the history and traditions of Penn State and AZ. Serving as Censor, I had the opportunity to work with the new pledge class to assimilate them into AZ,” Bowers explained. “The responsibility of maintaining a house, developing and maintaining a budget and resolving an occasional disagreement between brothers all served to prepare me for life after college.”

Indeed, Bowers used his skills from AZ to propel his career forward for 40 years, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Throughout the years, Bowers was able to keep in touch with his brothers. Fellow brother, Alan Wood, worked alongside Bowers for NRCS projects and Brother Frank Resides is Bowers’ popular e-mail correspondent when it comes to discussing Penn State football games.

Bowers retired in 2008 as the State Conservation Engineer for Pennsylvania, but never quit working with his love for land and agriculture. Once again, leadership and friendship were the tools for life Bowers gained at AZ and that foundation continued to bear fruit in retirement.

“In retirement, I have become a Penn State Master Gardner in Cumberland County,” Bowers said. “[This] complements my vegetable garden, blueberry and raspberry patches, and my apple/pear/peach orchard of 32 trees.”

Bowers is also active in church activities involving choir and finance as well as travels with his wife Mary Ann, with whom he has conquered the world for 48 years. Their travels range from the redwoods in northern California to Montreal to Iceland and even Florida, where they attend Pittsburgh Pirate spring training games. They have two grown daughters and two grandchildren who they adore.

“Mary Ann and I especially enjoy watching our granddaughter’s ballet performances and grandson's golf matches,” Bowers revealed.

No matter how many years go by, however, Bowers will always remember his roots with AZ and the memories he made at the fraternity.

“Alpha Zeta was a great learning, growing and challenging experience for me; many life skills were developed and honed there,” he said.  “I would like to thank all those who were my brothers and friends.”