Brother Bowers Named Distinguished Alumni

Jan 18, 2023 – ETSU alum earns numerous professional accolades.

Growing up in Elizabethton, Tenn., in the eastern Tennessee foothills, Betsy Bowers  and her sisters had one very clear lesson instilled in them: “It was not a question of ‘if’ we were going to college, it was a matter of where and when. Education was very important in our household,” Betsy recalled.

Hers was the first generation of her family to attend college; Betsy and her three sisters each attended and graduate from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in nearby Johnson City. And, after four decades of exemplary professional achievement, her alma mater has recognized her sterling career by naming her an ETSU Distinguished Alumni.

As she acclimated to life on campus, she found a like-minded community within Delta Sigma Pi. During her college career, Betsy served as Delta Xi chapter’s VPPE. In 1980, when she graduated from ETSU, Betsy became a Deltasig Life Member.

‘I had several good friends who were already members, so it felt natural for me to join the fraternity,” Brother Bowers said. “I appreciated the DSP culture where everyone was treated with respect and integrity and everyone’s opinion was valued. I also gleaned a strong work ethic and business acumen from my Deltasig days.”

After graduation, Betsy became an auditor for the state of Tennessee, where auditing university’s financial records became a focal point of her job. She eventually got tired of constantly being on the road crisscrossing the Volunteer State, she was hired at her alma mater as a grant accountant.

“I decided at that point that higher education was where I wanted to apply my talents,” Betsy said. “I liked the idea that our roles existed solely to be of service to the students.”

She worked her way up to becoming Director of ETSU’s internal audits. While employed at ETSU, she earned her MBA, typically by working in one class per semester into her busy schedule.

“There were several university employees in the same boat, juggling work and graduate-level classes. When we got together, it was much group therapy as it was studying,” Betsy quipped.

During her time at ETSU, Brother Bowers remained active with Delta Sigma Pi. She served two stints as District Director from 1984 to 1987 and 1991. She would later earn her Silver Helmet.

In 1993, Betsy successfully applied for the role of Inspector General at the Univ. of West Florida (UWF), which entailed coordinating university audits and related training and administration. Her career has continually evolved, and she currently occupies the role of VP of Finance and Administrator and Chief Financial Officer for UWF. Betsy has earned several professional accolades, including the International Association of College and University Auditors presenting her with the Membership Excellence Award and UWF naming her its Manager of the Year.

In several of her roles, Betsy has been the first woman to occupy the position. She said she attributes a lot of her success to simply being diligent and asking questions: “It’s easy to say that you do things because that’s the way they’ve always been done, but looking at a situation through fresh eyes sometimes reveals that I’m time to rethink your process and consider a new way.”

As she reflects on more than 40 years working in the environment of higher education, she has noticed some changes in students’ perspective from her days as an undergrad: “The student today is more mature. Exposure to technology has broadened their world and better equipped them for a fast-moving workplace. The students I encounter have a strong work ethic and really appreciate when you take an interest in them.”

She has a unique opportunity to give back to students with similar career ambitions. The Northwest Florida chapter of the Institute for Internal Auditors, an organization in which she is a past president, created the Betsy Bowers scholarship, which bestows to $500 annual awards to UWF students who are pursuing careers in internal auditing.

Betsy was humbled by earning Distinguished Alumni status; she attributes her accomplishments to striving to understand as many perspectives as possible and “following the 80/20 rule and seeking out what would help the 80%.”

Betsy is uncertain when she’ll retire, but, befitting an auditor’s preparedness, she already has a plan: “I’ll spend seven months of the year in Florida, and the remaining five months I’ll spend in my grandmother’s old house back in Elizabethton. I look forward to spending summers there.”











  • Brothers of Delta Sigma Pi