Twenty years ago, Burlington County businessman and philanthropist Henry Rowan and his late wife, Betty, pledged a $100 million gift to then Glassboro State college.
On Saturday, Rowan University marked the 20th anniversary of the donation to the public school.
“Mr. and Mrs. Rowan’s gift was unheard of at the time and caused quite a stir in academic and philanthropic circles,” Rowan President Dr. Ali A. Houshmand said in a statement.
“To say we were-and are- simply grateful would be an understatement and do a disservice to the Rowan family’s generosity.”
The generous gift had just one stipulation. According to Rowan University, Henry Rowan requested that Glassboro State College build an engineering college in South Jersey.
In 2000, the first engineering class graduated from the College of Engineering.
At the time the donation was made, it was the largest one ever given to a public school, according to Rowan University.
Rowan University has a formal ceremony planned to honor the anniversary in the fall.