Dr. David Bohlen to lead Northwestern homecoming parade as marshal

September 25, 2018

Dr. David Bohlen, Northwestern’s 2018 Homecoming Parade Marshal

Dr. David Bohlen will lead Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s annual homecoming parade as its marshal starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, on Alva’s downtown square.

Bohlen is a former Northwestern student and a retired faculty member (1973-2000).

Although he entered college planning to major in chemistry, Bohlen did not initially plan to be a teacher. He had his first teaching experience as a lab assistant at Upper Iowa University and enjoyed working with his fellow students as they learned chemistry. As a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin, Bohlen found that he could explain chemistry in a way the students could understand, and his lab sections were always near the top in test score rankings.

He received the chance to teach general chemistry at Upper Iowa and three years later he also taught organic chemistry. Every student in the 1966-67 organic class received an advanced degree.

He did research with Scientific Research in Alva during the summer of 1972, and his family fell in love with the community. In 1973 he began teaching organic chemistry and general chemistry for non-majors at Northwestern. Bohlen said general chemistry was a general education course and also a required course for agriculture and home economics majors. In 1976, he started teaching biochemistry. Bohlen became Dean of the School of Natural Science, Mathematics and Computer Science in 1979 and served in that capacity until retiring in 2000. Over the course of his career, Bohlen said he had the joy of teaching students across all majors and backgrounds.

“It was a great experience to see the freshmen come in, learn, mature, graduate and enter graduate/professional school or enter directly into their chosen fields,” Bohlen said.

He has been a Ranger fan during his time here in Alva and has been said to bleed red and black, which is probably true. Since retiring, Bohlen has more time to support Ranger athletics and also host Northwestern students at the First Christian Church College Fellowship Dinner each week. This is a way for Bohlen to keep in touch with the students.

Bohlen and his wife, Emily, were chosen as Fans of the Year in 2017 at the Ranger Northwespy Awards. Bohlen said they were stunned and highly honored by this, plus the fact that around 400 students gave them a standing ovation. He said it was a great thrill and is the reason he accepted the invitation to be parade marshal.

 “I am greatly honored to be chosen for this,” Bohlen said. “I do this to honor the students, alumni and friends of this university that I have known for 45 years.”

 Dr. David Pecha, Homecoming chairman and vice president for administration, noted how honored the university is to have Bohlen serve as this year’s marshal as he embodies the current homecoming theme – “Get Rowdy! Homecoming 2018.”

“Each year the Homecoming Committee receives a number of parade marshal recommendations,” Pecha said.  “This year we are honored to recognize an outstanding retired faculty member and supporter of Ranger Athletics to lead the Saturday morning parade.  I had the honor of working with Dr. Bohlen prior to his retirement and saw firsthand his dedication to teaching and service.  He and Emily continue to support Northwestern by actively attending many university events.”  

Bohlen’s late wife Marjorie has a scholarship created in her honor called the Marge Bohlen Scholarship Award, which was established in the spring of 1988 to honor a member of the women’s basketball team who best typifies her characteristics: leadership, academic excellence and dynamic motivation. Marjorie earned her master’s degree from Northwestern and two of his three children earned their bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern.

“Northwestern is a family affair,” Bohlen said. “I am proud to be a part of it.”

For more information on the homecoming schedule visit www.nwosu.edu/homecoming.


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist
eedavis@nwosu.edu 580-327-8480

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

© 2008-2024 Northwestern Oklahoma State
University. All Rights Reserved.

Mission Statement

Northwestern Oklahoma State University provides quality educational and cultural opportunities to learners with diverse needs by cultivating ethical leadership and service, critical thinking and fiscal responsibility.

Proud Member of RUSO