A $10.2 million bequest from two devoted, longtime supporters, Helen ("Bunny") F. Gowen and Fred H. Gowen, is being used to fund academic initiatives in the College (home of the arts, sciences, and engineering) and will establish two professorships.
"Bunny and Fred Gowen were staunch supporters of the University of Rochester for many, many decades," said President Thomas H. Jackson. "This bequest is the capstone of a lifetime of uncommonly generous support for our institution."
"Both of the Gowens held the University close to their hearts," said Vice President and General Secretary Emeritus Roger Lathan. "They stayed in close touch with us throughout their lives."
Fred Gowen, a former Rochesterian, was a 1932 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University who then earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University. At the time of his death, he was executive director and chairman of the investment policy committee of the Mackay-Shields Financial Corporation, a pension trust management firm in New York City. He was an inaugural member of the University's Trustees' Council, an advisory group, when it was formed in 1964. He then served as a trustee from 1968 until his death in 1978.
Following his death, Mrs. Gowen, who lived in New York City, continued to be actively involved with the College. She died in September 1999.
Their past contributions were recognized by the naming of the Gowen Room, a 99-seat auditorium in Wilson Commons, when the student living center opened in 1976. That same year, they endowed the Fred H. and Helen F. Gowen Fund in support of special art exhibits. In addition, subsequent gifts made possible the establishment in 1979 of the Fred H. Gowen Professorship in the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration. That chair has been held successively by Karl Brunner, Charles Plosser, and Jerold B. Warner.