Manhattan College Mourns Brother Francis Bowers, Former Provost and Dean

Brother Francis Bowers, FSC, Ph.D., passed away on Dec. 6.

Brother Francis Bowers, FSCThe Manhattan College community mourns the death of Brother Francis Bowers, FSC, Ph.D., former provost and academic vice president, and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Br. Francis passed away peacefully on Dec. 6 at the age of 93.

A native of New York City, Br. Francis was born Robert William Bowers in 1920. He graduated from Cathedral Boys High School and had a brief career on Wall Street before joining Manhattan College, where he would spend more than half a century.

“Brother Francis contributed greatly in many ways to the College, serving selflessly and always cheerfully wherever he was needed over the course of 54 years,” said Brennan O’Donnell, president of the College. “He was, first and foremost, an extraordinarily dedicated and effective teacher who challenged and inspired three generations of Jaspers. His life was a gift to his students and a blessing to his colleagues.”

In 1959, Br. Francis began his career with Manhattan College as a summer session instructor of English for three consecutive years. During his tenure at the College, he served as associate professor of English and World Literature; chair of the graduate and undergraduate English departments; dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, provost and academic vice president of the College; and academic adviser for intercollegiate athletes. Br. Francis was inducted into the Manhattan College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 for his involvement with Jasper student-athletes.

Before Manhattan College, Br. Francis also taught in the New York-area at Ascension School (1946-48), St. Augustine High School (1948-51), and St. Peter’s Boys High School (1951-53). In addition, he was an instructor at De La Salle College in Washington, D.C. (1953-59).

Br. Francis entered the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 1942 at the Barrytown, N.Y., Novitiate. In 1946, he graduated with a B.A. from The Catholic University of America, earned his M.A. from Fordham University in 1952, and also received his Ph.D. from Catholic in 1959.

The funeral arrangements for Br. Francis include:


  • Monday, Dec. 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. at De La Salle Hall (810 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 10 a viewing and wake at Christian Brothers Community, Chapel of St. Benilde (4415 Post Road Bronx, NY) from 3 to 8 p.m. (wake service at 7:30 p.m.)


  • A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. at Manhattan College’s Chapel of De La Salle and his Brothers (4513 Manhattan College Parkway Riverdale, NY) with a viewing from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, N.Y.

Read the citation from Br. Francis' election into the Athletic Hall of Fame

Read the homily from Br. Francis' funeral Mass

Read Br. Francis' eulogy

By MC Staff