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Chicago attorney reflects on unique Ohio State experience

Growing up in Prospect, Ohio, just a short 20-minute drive from The Ohio State University at Marion, alumni John Bowley followed a familiar path of many area students, launching his Ohio State educational journey.

Spending his first year at Ohio State Marion, Bowley went on to the Columbus campus earning his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from The Ohio State University and Juris Doctor degree from University of Illinois - Chicago, School of Law.

Bowley, who is now a successful attorney in Chicago, began his educational journey on a regional campus because, “It was close-by, accessible and affordable,” he shared.

The ability to transition from a smaller rural school setting, the opportunity to be mentored by expert faculty, and a place to develop his writing skills are all part of how Bowley reflects on his Ohio State Marion experience.

“My graduating high school class had 37 students, so Ohio State Marion was a perfect steppingstone between that and a campus of 45,000+,” Bowley explained. “Ohio State Marion gave me an opportunity to get a "head start" on my Ohio State experience, providing a comfortable environment to transition from a small town/school to much bigger ones.”


According to Bowley Ohio State Marion faculty also had a profound influence on his future.

“Larry Sauselen (art) became a life-long friend and mentor and encouraged creativity, abstract thinking, and experimentation. I now use those skills daily,” he said. Stuart Lishan (English) gave me confidence in my writing ability, and in developing a unique voice,” Bowley added.  

Bowley shared that the regional campus helped hone some of the skills he utilizes in his practice to this day.

“I'm an attorney, which requires a lot of writing and abstract problem-solving. Both of those were skills I first started to develop and hone at Ohio State Marion,” Bowley said.


Bowley’s writing and analytical skills are quintessential to his downtown Chicago law firm but were also on full display in 2016 when the Global Challenges Foundation launched a global prize competition entitled, “The Global Challenges Prize 2017:  A New Shape.”

The competition challenged a collection of great and diverse minds from across the globe to formulate proposals for new models of how major global risks could be managed more effectively and equitably to avoid an extreme global catastrophe in coming decades.  The competition was the biggest of its kind, seeking improved frameworks for global governance of global catastrophic risks, such as climate change, large scale environmental damage, politically motivated violence, extreme poverty, and population growth.

Bowley entered the competition as one of 2,702 entries from 122 countries. Contestants came from think tanks, researchers, businesses, academia, and non-governmental organizations across the globe.  Bowley’s article was eventually selected as one of fourteen finalists, which sent him to The New Shape Forum in Stockholm Sweden, in May of 2018 to present his entry, “A (Simplified) Blockchain Approach to Non-Coercive, Decentralized Global Governance.”  

Bowley attributes much of his writing acumen to Ohio State Marion faculty.

Looking at the breadth and depth of opportunity and Ohio State’s impressive alumni base has also provided Bowley with a sense of pride and connection that will last a lifetime.

“I'm proud of earning a degree from one the largest institutions of higher learning in the world,” he said, “a place that allows for infinite customization of one's educational experience. There's almost nothing you can't study there, and you can do it in combinations and ways that aren't possible elsewhere.  


Bowley said, “It's a well-recognized institution with great name recognition; it's been a conversation-starter countless times in my life, all over the world.”


About The Ohio State University at Marion

Established in 1957, The Ohio State University at Marion is part of The Ohio State University’s statewide system of campuses. Students at Ohio State Marion benefit from personal attention in small classes and a culture of caring that permeates the campus, while also enjoying unparalleled access to world renown faculty experts and the breadth and depth of opportunity synonymous being part of one of the most comprehensive and respected public research universities in the world.  Students at Ohio State Marion can begin one to three years of 200+ Ohio State majors, later making the seamless transition to the Columbus campus, or complete their Ohio State degree in biology, business, education, engineering technology, English, history, psychology, RN to BSN, and social work entirely on the Marion campus.