Lipscomb alumni Ted Jamison and Bruce Bowers shared their 45-year long journey of friendship in chapel on Tuesday.
Jamison was the first African American baseball player to attend Lipscomb, and Bowers was the university’s first African American basketball player. Both men graduated from David Lipscomb College in 1972, when there was only one percent diversity on campus.
“The atmosphere of Lipscomb was different,” Bowers said. “It was a different kind of experience and exposure for me. I have been blessed to be granted that opportunity to come to Lipscomb. ”
At a school with very few African American students and no African American administration, Jamison and Bowers quickly bonded over both their shared experiences and love of sports. When describing his friend, Bowers shared how his father always stressed the importance of keeping your word and following through with it.
“When Ted gives you his word to do something, he is going to do it,” Bowers said. “He is truly a good person, a friend, and the relationship has been outstanding. We have been apart for awhile, but we always seem to get together. ”
After 45 years of being friends, Jamison shared how it was God’s destiny that the two met at Lipscomb in 1968.
“My definition of friend, when I begin to describe Bruce Bowers, it makes me reflect on myself, and I find out that I am almost speaking to myself,” Jamison said. “He is also a person that I have been able to communicate with: open and honest communication.”
Jamison and Bowers both enjoyed their time at Lipscomb and the friendships that they made along the way. After spending a couple of weeks at Lipscomb with students and faculty, they were able to see the way Lipscomb is still changing and progressing.
“Things have changed at Lipscomb,” Bowers said. “If you’re not taking the opportunity to mingle and meet someone who doesn’t look like you then you are missing out on cultural diversity that you need. When you walk down the street and see someone that doesn’t look like you, try to have some conversation.”
Along with Bowers, Jamison also shared some advice for students during this time of growth on Lipscomb’s campus.
“Don’t be afraid of change,” Jamison said. “In fact we should embrace change. We are different and we have value.”
Photos courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics