Shimer College

James Bowers

Hello, I’m James Bowers, Dean of Admission at Shimer. I grew up in the mountains of East Tennessee. I spent thirteen years in North Carolina where I earned my BA from Duke University, worked in professional school admission for Duke, and then earned a law degree from… You guessed it, Duke. After spending almost a decade in New York City practicing law, I decided I wanted to return to working with students.

As a born and raised East Coaster, I never imagined that I would be living in the Windy City. But then I discovered Shimer, and like many before me, I knew that I had found a home with a community of like-minded, life-long learners with whom I could fit right in. If you love learning, being challenged by profound ideas, and engaging in great discussion, I would love to introduce you to our community too!

For me, there is nothing like the feeling of helping someone find the perfect educational fit to prepare them for pursuing their dreams. As a first-generation college graduate, I know what an amazing impact the right learning environment can have. I can’t thank my mentors and advisors enough for putting me on this path, and I can’t imagine a more fulfilling career than helping people attain the tools for a lifetime of learning, creating, and discovery.

As a former attorney and law school admissions professional, I also serve as pre-law advisor for Shimer students who are interested in pursuing legal careers. I love that I work at a school where I have the opportunity to play a role in the lives of our students from the time they first consider attending until they finalize their plans for what their next great challenge will be after graduation.

When I’m not busy in the admissions office or on the road, I love camping, cooking, reading speculative fiction, building intentional community, creating participatory art, and empowering other people to create as well. But my greatest pleasure is relaxing with my wonderful wife, Tes, and our energetic English Shepherd, Jack.


Dean of Admission