Newton Bowers was a distinguished professor of actuarial science at Drake University for over 25 years. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he attended Yale University, graduating in 1954 with a degree in mathematics. After working at New York Life and proudly serving in the U.S Navy, Newton moved back to Minnesota where he earned his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1965. He began his teaching career at the University of Michigan and moved to Des Moines in 1969 as an associate professor of actuarial science at Drake.
Newton was instrumental in transforming the Actuarial Science program at Drake into one of the best in the country. He was a passionate educator and mentor. One of his great joys was following his students’ professional careers, as many went on to have esteemed careers in the insurance and financial services industries, including numerous C-Suite executives.
During his tenure at Drake, he co-authored the book Actuarial Mathematics, first published in 1986, which was used in actuarial programs in the United States and abroad. It was considered the definitive text in the field at the time. In 1989, he was named an Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor and in 1992, he was named Iowa Professor of the Year. He retired in 1996.
Outside of teaching, Newt loved to play bridge, playing locally at the Bridge House as well as in tournaments across the country. He was an avid reader, loved to travel and was a constant presence on the sidelines at Drake basketball games.