Martin L. Bowling, Jr. ’68 (Marty) and his wife Barbara believe deeply in the mission of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which is why they have created an estate plan which includes the West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG).
In addition to the Bowlings’ ongoing annual support, their plan features charitable gift annuities and a charitable remainder unitrust. These gifts provide Marty and Barbara with tax deductions and an income stream during their lifetimes, while ultimately helping to ensure that West Point continues to excel.
Their generosity will support the Long Gray Line Endowment, Superintendent’s Endowment, Superintendent’s Annual Fund, and Class of 1968 Gift Fund. “We specifically support activities that allow cadets to gain a world view,” Marty said, noting West Point cadets have varied international educational opportunities, an example of Margin of Excellence programs that are supported by WPAOG.
Ensuring West Point will continue to train leaders of character committed to Duty, Honor, and Country has long motivated Marty and Barbara to support WPAOG. This is also why Marty volunteers as a West Point Admissions Field Force Officer covering four Florida congressional districts. “My most important legacy to the Academy is the candidates I have recruited and mentored through the admissions process,” Marty explained.
Marty and Barbara met in 1967 during his cow year. They married soon after Marty began seven years as an officer in the U.S. Army, including service in Vietnam where he earned the Bronze Star for meritorious service. After receiving graduate degrees from MIT in Nuclear Engineering and Political Science, Marty launched a successful career in the energy industry. He subsequently completed a Master of Business Administration at the University of Richmond as he transitioned to senior management.
After completing a BS at the University of Connecticut and Master of Education from University of Massachusetts, Barbara taught elementary school. She returned to college, earning a post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting from Virginia Commonwealth University and Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor designations. She then began a new career as a corporate internal auditor and later as a technical editor.
Now retired, the couple enjoys Sarasota’s performing arts, hiking, keeping fit, and watching their two grandsons participate in crew on the waters near their Osprey, Florida, home. They have returned to West Point for many reunions and events, always appreciating the beauty, academic excellence, and rich traditions of the Academy.
In September 2021, they chose to celebrate Marty’s 76th birthday at West Point watching their respective alma maters compete in football, which gave Marty a chance to spend time with 12 of the 17 current cadets he helped as candidates. They are a source of great pride for him! Marty already had 13 accepted candidates for the Class of 2026 and is now working with candidates for the Class of 2027.
Marty attributes much of his career and life successes to the years he spent at West Point. “We believe we should do all we can to help and support outstanding young men and woman go to West Point and develop into leaders of character to protect and serve our country.”