Henry Rowan, South Jersey university’s namesake and benefactor, dies at 92

 In this Oct. 2, 2013 photo, Henry Rowan watches an engineering demonstration at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. In spring 1992, Henry Rowan and his wife Betty Rowan pledged $100 million to Glassboro State College, which has been renamed Rowan University in his honor. At the time it was the largest gift to a public college in the history of higher education. Rowan passed away Wednesday at the age of 92. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

In this Oct. 2, 2013 photo, Henry Rowan watches an engineering demonstration at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. In spring 1992, Henry Rowan and his wife Betty Rowan pledged $100 million to Glassboro State College, which has been renamed Rowan University in his honor. At the time it was the largest gift to a public college in the history of higher education. Rowan passed away Wednesday at the age of 92. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

The major benefactor and namesake of Rowan University, one of the leading research universities in South Jersey, died Wednesday. The university confirmed the death with a posting on its website.

Henry Rowan donated $100 million dollars in 1992 to what was then Glassboro State College to improve engineering education.

Four years later, the school graduated its first class of students from the newly-funded College of Engineering.

In 1997, the school was renamed Rowan University.

The Ridgewood, N.J., native had a background in the sciences. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later founded the Inductotherm Group, which makes processing systems for the metals and materials industry.

Rowan also served as an aviation cadet in the Army Air Corps during World War II, though he never saw combat.

He was 92 years old.

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