From growing up in the shadow of the Y to a degree in teaching, Bowcut shares her life lessons

When Jannine Bowcut was 13 years old, her family moved to Provo, Utah, into a ward that bordered on the BYU campus. "Growing up in the shadow of the Y was a great blessing,” she recalls. She remembers her ward as a rich, primordial soup of knowledge and education. Many members of her ward served in bishoprics and stake presidencies on campus. She rubbed shoulders with administrators and professors of education, religion, physics, English, drama, and music, from whom she learned much. “I took it for granted then, but now I realize what a unique blessing it was.”

“When I graduated from Provo High School in 1969, my dad offered me a choice: He would pay half on a new car or he would pay half of my BYU tuition.” At first Bowcut thought that the right choice was obvious—the CAR! She thought she could have both by working full time while going to college. It didn’t seem to matter that the car was a bright mustard-gold Datsun.

However, what seemed to be the obvious choice changed after prayer, a rereading of her patriarchal blessing, and counsel from her bishop. She came to realize that choosing BYU tuition was really the only choice. “Looking back I am so thankful I gave up on the immediate gratification in exchange for such a rich, rewarding experience. I loved all my classes at BYU. I am amazed at the strong footings [a BYU education] provided for continued growth. Even with the ever-swinging pendulum of educational philosophies, the things I learned in the College of Education are the things I still build on. What a blessing.”

Bowcut, then Jannine Campbell, started at BYU in 1969; she graduated in elementary education with a minor in special education in 1976. During her BYU years she took off time to serve a mission in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where she first met Elder Bowcut. After her mission she met him again at BYU. Their friendship evolved into romance, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple.

Bowcut postponed her teaching career to start a family. Three children and seven years later, in 1983, she accepted a teaching position in an elementary school in the Uinta County School District #1 in Evanston, Wyoming. This fall she will begin her 25th year of teaching in that district.

“Whether teaching at home, in my ward callings, or my third graders, my BYU experience laid the foundation to help me be a light unto all I meet. It has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. It was worth a lot more than a mustard-colored Datsun—which, by the way, got me to and from BYU in style.”

October 2007