The Rowan family and the Williamson Auxiliary were recognized for their inspiring philanthropy at the 32nd Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Gala Breakfast in Philadelphia recently.
During the ceremony, the Multigenerational Family Achievement Award was given to Virginia Rowan Smith and her husband Manning J. Smith and the Rowan family and the Auxiliary was named a Distinguished Honoree. The awards recognize exceptional people whose philanthropic endeavors truly make a difference in society and inspire others with their examples.
Virginia Rowan Smith is chair of Inductotherm Corp., the company founded by her father, which is a world leader in manufacturing induction metal melting systems. She also is group vice president of the Inductotherm Group, a company that includes 40 companies throughout the world involved in the heat-driven transformation of metals, and a member of the board of directors of Indel, Inc., the management service company of Rowan Technologies, Inc., manufacturers of a diverse line of products for the metals industry.
She is president of the Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation, a trustee of Rowan University, on the advisory board of the Nature Conservancy’s Lake George Land Conservancy, on the board of the Union League of Philadelphia’s Abraham Lincoln Foundation, a longtime supporter of the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey, and a trustee at the Doane Academy in Burlington, NJ.
Her husband, Manning J. Smith III, is president of Indel, Inc. He joined the company in 1982, rose through the ranks, and has been closely involved in the company’s growth worldwide.
He has been a director of the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University since its inception. A former captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, he serves as a national director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. He also serves as secretary and treasurer to the Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation.
The Smiths have two children, Rowan Smith Watson and Manning Smith IV, who are also dedicated philanthropists.
Lee Rowan, Henry Rowan’s wife, has given generously to deserving organizations that help the less fortunate and further missions that better society. Last spring, Williamson’s Power Plant Technology Program was named the Lee Rowan School of Power Plant Technology in honor of her generous support of the program, bringing the school closer to having a completed Energy Island. She also made possible the renovations to Rowan Hall currently underway, which include expanding the dining room, adding a lower level, and renovating the lobby and first floor hallways.
The Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation, established in 1999, has provided support to a host of educational institutions and organizations that focus on environment and human services. The foundation has offered exceptional support to Williamson.
The Rowan family and the Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation have provided truly transformational gifts to Williamson, making their name a part of Williamson forever.
This support began with Henry Rowan, who began giving to the school in 2000. In 2007, the school entered difficult financial times and he rose to the challenge, offering a generous challenge grant. While that grant was being met, H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest joined with Rowan and each donated transformational gifts that nearly doubled the endowment. One year ago, the main administrative building was dedicated as Rowan Hall in his honor.
The Auxiliary has worked tirelessly to “make the lives of the students more comfortable” for over seven decades. Comprised of women and men, the Auxiliary conducts several annual events to raise money, including the popular Christmas Bazaar and flea market. They also raise money by making crafts throughout the year to sell at Alumni Day and Homecoming and they provide many volunteers who participate in Service Week and Freshman Orientation.
Their most recent gift provided money to purchase beds for the student dormitories.
The Auxiliary was founded on Alumni Day 1946 as the Ladies Auxiliary, and automatically considered all females related to the students and graduates to be members. Their mission was to “furnish things for the cottages which the school cannot furnish” and to “supply little luxuries and necessities to make the boys’ lives a bit easier.”
Last spring, they dropped “Ladies” from their name and renamed their organization the Williamson Auxiliary to inspire men to join; men had always been welcome though the name didn’t imply that.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Auxiliary, were Jacqui Stradley, president, Joyce Starr, treasurer, and Dorian Wilmore, secretary.
Pictured are (from left to right): Trustee Michael Piotrowicz, Joyce Starr, Manning Smith III, Dorian Wilmore, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Arlene Snyder, Virginia Rowan Smith, Mary Nell Rounds, President Michael Rounds, and Board Chairman William Bonenberger 7W9.