I noted with some interest recently that Rowan University is renaming its College of Engineering for Henry Rowan.
This came as a surprise to me, since I thought everything already was named for Rowan.
Rowan University. Rowan Boulevard. Rowan College at Gloucester County. The Rowan brand is spreading. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if somewhere down the line Glassboro changes its name to Collegetown or Rowanburg or Henryville.
Henry Rowan gave Glassboro State College $100 million back in 1992. According to what I remember and what I have read, that helped start the engineering school. Now, with his most recent gift of $15 million, he gets his name on it.
Rich people like their names on things. There’s Rohrer College of Business, named for William Rohrer, who donated $10 million.
I think Rutgers was originally Queens College, until Henry Rutgers endowed it.
I don’t care one way or the other whose name is on a building or a hospital wing or a college. In fact, I’ve often thought I’d be open to endowments myself. I mean, for the right amount, maybe I’d change the name of my local news website, gloucestercountyonline.com, to reflect the name of my benefactor.
It would have to be big bucks, though. I mean, I’d have to find and register a new domain name and URL. I’d have to get new business cards. Oh, it would certainly be a headache.
But wouldn’t a few million bucks ease the pain of ordering new business cards?
The trouble is, my benefactor might insist there be special consideration made for stories that might involve him. I think I would lose my independence.
No, I suppose I’d better stay independent — and extremely under-funded.