Mission: The IGNITE ceremony for Bowie State males is designed to awaken freshmen to their inner Bowie Man. A right-of-passage for young men, IGNITE teaches the characteristics of the Bowie Man identity and charges the new members of the campus to carry and uphold them with a pledge of accountability to themselves, their campus, and one another.
History: IGNITE was conceived on August 29th, 2015. During their annual SGA Retreat prior to the 2015-2016 academic school year, four members of the Forward Administration (Dawaine Cosey, Richard Lucas, III, Charles Marshall, and Jeffrey Walker) met to discuss an idea which would give identity and depth to the campus and its male demographic. Recognizing the need to develop our men to an intentional standard of excellence, the four leaders agreed on the pillars of Character, Culture, Consciousness, and Community as the foundational pieces essential to the Bowie Man identity.
Adopting a similar format from other Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the four leaders designed a course that lead freshmen along the campus to FIVE SIGNIFICANT SITES- the Bulldog, depicting the CHARACTER of the Bowie Man; the Steps of the Fine and Performing Arts Center, representing the CULTURE of the Bowie Man; the Patio of the Martin Luther King Communication Arts Building, representing the CONSCIOUSNESS of a Bowie Man; the Front of Harriet Tubman Residential Hall, representing the COMMUNITY of the Bowie Man; and the Torch, which represented the culmination of the entire INGITE ceremony.
The leaders pulled in other peers, Mr. Bowie State Darius Aaron, and Shannon Dotson, and together, decided on the day of the Upper Classmen move-in for the ceremony, to include other Bowie men (students, alumni, staff, and faculty) in the occasion and to present a strong support for the incoming freshmen. To distinguish the two crowds of brothers, the leaders designated that the freshmen would wear white tee shirts and athletic shorts and the Bowie Men would wear all black Bowie paraphernalia. The white tees represent their newness; leaving behind them who they are or have been, and giving them a sort of blank canvas on which they would begin to paint their experiences inside the identity of a Bowie Man. To explain the significance of the occasion, Dr, Darren Swain (Alumnus) was chosen for his fervent passion for and investment in the male students and overall culture of Bowie State. To assist in the specifics and the historic value of the occasion, Mr. Shorter was selected for his insight and knowledge of traditional practices and customs. The leaders then chose their charge to deliver. For Character, Mr. Bowie State Darius Aaron; Culture, Solicitor General Charles Marshall; Consciousness, SGA President Richard Lee Lucas, III; Community, CAB Vice President Jeffrey Walker; and the Charge, Sr. Class President Dawaine Cosey.