The gift of $100 million to Glassboro State College to create a college of engineering in southern New Jersey is a model of public-private partnership for economic development and of private fund solicitation by state institutions. It is also a bonanza for one small school of limited fame.
Henry M. Rowan, chairman-founder of Inductotherm, Inc., a high-tech manufacturer of Rancocas, N.J., and his wife Betty, have pledged to give $100 million over 10 years. In return, the school in the town of Glassboro, 20 miles southeast of Philadelphia and beyond its suburbs, has been renamed Rowan College of New Jersey. Alumni should be grateful not to have to call it Inductotherm Tech.
There have been huge gifts to privately endowed universities, great state research universities and private liberal arts colleges. This is the first of that magnitude to a lesser state institution, which began as a tiny teacher-training school in 1923. Since more American college undergraduates probably attend such institutions than any other kind, how Glassboro uses this gift will profoundly affect American education. Virtually every state institution in the country has geared up solicitation and is searching for its Rowan.