Two Rowan family gifts bolster engineering offerings

Posted: December 25, 2013

GLASSBORO Thanks to the generosity of the family after which it is named, Rowan University will start a doctoral program in engineering that offers a fellowship that will cover tuition and living expenses.

A second new program will support engineering undergraduates who want to study abroad, college officials announced Monday.

The Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation has donated $300,000 to start an engineering Ph.D. fellowship. Starting in the fall, one student from each of the College of Engineering's five disciplines - biomedical, chemical, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, and mechanical - will have his or her tuition paid in full and receive a living stipend.

A further $100,000 from the family will be used to create the Henry Rowan Engineering Globalization Fellowship Program for Undergraduates. That money will let engineering students study abroad and work in industrial internships around the world.

The gifts are part of a continuing relationship between the Glassboro university and the Rowan family. In 1992, Henry Rowan and his wife, Betty, donated $100 million to Glassboro State College to create what has become a highly regarded school of engineering.

"The College of Engineering has proven itself to be an excellent steward of our family's gifts," said Virginia Rowan Smith, seconding her father's praise of the college. "These new Ph.D. and globalization programs will provide more opportunities for students at all levels and will further distinguish Rowan engineering as a leader in the field."

The family's involvement with the university is more than financial. Rowan Smith is in her third term as a trustee; her husband, Manning Smith III, is on the board of the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan; and son Manning Smith IV is on the alumni association board.

"These recent gifts by the Rowan family are going to have a tremendous impact on the College of Engineering and on the university for many years to come," said R. J. Tallarida Jr., associate vice president for university advancement and executive director of the Rowan University Foundation.

The engineering program at Rowan was already poised for growth. In 2016, the college is to open a new $76 million facility. In the fall, biomedical engineering will be added to the curriculum.

Engineering dean Anthony Lowman said the college would not have been able to start the Ph.D. program without Rowan family support.

"It allows us to kick-start our program," Lowman said. "This is going to get the first cohort funded."

The doctoral program will make the university even more attractive to high-quality faculty, he said.

The globalization program will let 10 to 20 engineering undergraduates per year obtain international experience that in the past many majors could not get without adding to the time it took them to graduate as well their costs, Lowman said.

Participation in the program could also make them more valuable to future employers.

"They need students who have a global perspective," Lowman said.


856-779-3893 rgiordano@phillynews.com@ritagiordano

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