GLASSBORO — Rowan University is honoring the 25th anniversary of the $100 million donation to then-Glassboro State College from the Rowan family with a new webpage and video.

In 1992, Henry and Betty Rowan made history when they gave the college $100 million, prompting the renaming of the post-secondary institution in Gloucester County.

“Their generosity changed our university, the town of Glassboro and South Jersey for all time,” Rowan President Ali A. Houshmand said. “It created countless opportunities for individuals and organizations, truly improving people’s lives —just as the Rowans intended.”

The new website includes a biography on Henry Rowan, information about the gift and its effect on the campus, past tributes to the Rowan family and images of Henry Rowan over the years.

Henry Rowan was an engineer and entrepreneur with no real ties to Glassboro State College. An MIT graduate, Rowan admitted in his book that he could have easily given the money to his alma mater. Instead, he decided to make an investment in the education of New Jerseyans.

“Education is still the single most important means of changing a person’s life,” Rowan said in 2012. “It is what made the difference for me, and it’s critical that our investment supports superior education for as many students as possible.

“I don’t think of myself as a philanthropist. I made an investment in something I believe in. I challenged the people at Glassboro State to make a difference with the financial help we provided.”

When Rowan made the donation, he challenged Glassboro State to establish an engineering college. The engineering school at Rowan, which graduated its first class 17 years ago, is now ranked 19th by U.S. News & World Report among the top 50 engineering programs in the nation.

At seven colleges and five schools, Rowan has seen its enrollment double over the past 25 years. It has embarked on several development efforts, including the Rowan Boulevard project and new student housing to accommodate the influx of students.

In 1992, the Glassboro State College Development Fund was at $787,000. Today, the Rowan University Foundation holds $208 million in total assets.

For more on Henry Rowan and his $100 million gift, visit

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Contact: 609-272-7251 Twitter @clairelowe

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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