Campaign Leadership Profile
Michael Bowden, Benefactor & Alumnus
As the project continues, we want to introduce you to some of the campaign leaders who are making this project a success. We are grateful for the talented, hard-working, faithful men and women who are building a legacy of life-changing Catholic education!
St. Ambrose Academy alumnus and benefactor Michael Bowden has seen many facets of the school community, growing up alongside the Academy in its earliest years. This impact is why Michael continues to be involved as a benefactor, supporting both the annual mission of the school as well as the Christ Our Light building campaign.
After graduating in 2010, Michael joined the faculty both as a teacher and in the Development Office, seeing more sides of the school than just behind a classroom desk. These roles give him a unique perspective on the impact of St. Ambrose in the community, “I want to see preserved what was so beneficial for me,” reflects Michael.
Having first encountered St. Ambrose students when he was homeschooled, Michael eventually enrolled at SAA as a sophomore in the senior high. Looking back on his time as a student, Michael says, “I really cherished my time at St. Ambrose. I felt like I was learning important things, discussing big ideas, and that I was challenged and constantly growing.”
Though young, Michael felt empowered by the tools the classical curriculum provided him, saying, “by 18, I had already engaged with some of the most challenging and richest works in our Western civilization. So, I felt like from there I could do anything or read anything.”
This confidence in being able to take on new challenges and meet the task at hand head-on carried Michael through college and beyond.
When he was looking for a career change, Michael even found support through the broader St. Ambrose community where he found connections that helped him land in the software technology arena. As a Development Consultant who implements software for a local Middleton-based software company, Michael also finds many lessons from his St. Ambrose days are still relevant:
“My role is very cross-functional, in that I’m working with the deepest of the deep-level programmers who code 24/7 and I also work with C-suite level people who are interested in things like the ROI [return on investment] of a project. So, I have to be able to talk intelligently about areas like budgets, accounting best practices, software architecture, and design. While I’m not an expert in any one of them, I’m able to communicate in all of them and to talk to people who are experts in those areas, synthesizing ideas to quickly come up to speed on those topics and manage projects. I attribute a lot of my ability to do all of that to my St. Ambrose background. Classical education keeps you on your toes because it’s very challenging – you get exposed to philosophy and theology early on in a way that stretches your mind to think more abstractly and critically.”
Like virtually all individuals who donate and are philanthropically minded, Michael looks for impact in his giving. When thinking about his own involvement as a benefactor of St. Ambrose, Michael sees the fruits borne from the school, saying, “I think St. Ambrose is a mission that creates good people, people who have a solid foundation that you don’t see everywhere. In short, St. Ambrose grads are the kind of people I want to work with.”