Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation commits $15M to Rowan University
The Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation has committed $15 million to Rowan University’s College of Engineering, which will be named the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, Rowan University President Dr. Ali Houshmand announced today.
The gift, which will establish a permanent endowment exclusively for the College of Engineering, marks the second largest contribution in the University’s history. South Jersey industrialist and philanthropist Henry Rowan and his late wife, Betty, made the largest gift – $100 million – to then-Glassboro State College in 1992. That record-breaking gift had the effect of transforming the institution as it grew to become Rowan University, and it supported the founding of its nationally ranked College of Engineering. This endowment creates just the second named college at Rowan University, a major milestone for colleges and universities. The first, the William G. Rohrer College of Business, was established in 2005 following a $10 million pledge from the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation.
“This new, remarkable gift will ensure our continued ability to deliver a world-class engineering education,” said Houshmand. “It will support critical programs in the College, including our newly established Engineering Ph.D. program and the Henry M. Rowan Globalization Fellowship Program. It will enable us to grow our cutting-edge research programs, such as our unique virtual reality lab. Equally important, the endowment will enable Rowan University to expand scholarship support as it increases access for some very exceptional students in our region, in the State and beyond.”
The Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation last year provided funding to establish the Ph.D. program, which welcomed its first students this semester, as well as the Globalization Fellowship Program, which provides opportunities for engineering students to study and work abroad. Rowan will open its second virtual reality facility at the South Jersey Technology Park, in Mantua Township, during the spring semester, allowing it to expand work it already has undertaken with organizations such as NASA, the U.S. Navy and other public and private entities. The scholarships will enable the University to increase access for students, keeping New Jersey’s best and brightest in the State, each earning a top-quality and affordable engineering degree.
The gift comes at a time of great growth, as the College prepares to construct a new engineering building, funded in large part by the New Jersey Building Our Future Bond Act. The facility, which will enable this high-demand program to double its enrollment to 2,000 students, is expected to open in 2017. It also comes about a year and a half after New Jersey officially designated Rowan as a state research institution, thanks in large part to the work the College of Engineering conducts for business, industry and government partners and funders.
“Very soon after my parents made their historic gift, the University honored their primary request – to create a College that would transform engineering education,” said Virginia Rowan Smith, vice president of the Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation. “The College of Engineering has continued to grow in scope and prestige. This endowment will provide critical resources to ensure that Rowan University meets the increasing demands of students and their employers and that it prepares competitive students who will lead in their professional careers.”