By David Madden
RANCOCAS, N.J., (CBS) — Local philanthropist and industrialist Henry Rowan has died.
Rowan’s passing on Wednesday night was announced by officials at Inductotherm, the Rancocas based technology company he founded more than 60 years ago and through which he amassed a fortune.
He also became known for his charitable efforts. His largest gifts went to what was known as Glassboro State College, now Rowan University.
“Henry Rowan really took a well regarded local state college and turned it into a nationally known university which has an integral role in the development of New Jersey,” University spokesman Joe Cardona told KYW Newsradio.
$125 million all told helped to transform the school from a quiet South Jersey institution into a major player on a number of fronts today. “He didn’t like what was happening in engineering education,” Cardona said. “So he looked at us as being able to create a brand new college of engineering to start from scratch.”
Rowan appeared in frail health three years ago, when a statue in his honor was unveiled on campus.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete, although Cardona says the school plans to hold an on-campus memorial next month, in consultation with the family.