Prominent members of Chicago’s business and philanthropic community gathered at IIT’s Main Campus recently on Thursday, October 3, 2013 to honor John W. Rowe, an IIT Regent who recently completed a seven-year tenure as IIT’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, with the prestigious Henry Townley Heald Award for his commitment to leadership, education, and service. The event also premiered a new scholarship opportunity for select students and the renaming of IIT’s highest teaching award.
Rowe became the 24th recipient of the Heald Award, which is named for the university’s visionary president and honors exceptional humanitarians who dedicate themselves to the greater good of mankind. Past winners of the Heald Award include: Jonas Salk, pioneer of the first successful polio vaccine; media mogul Ted Turner; and renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
In the City of Chicago, Rowe and his wife Jeanne are known as thoughtful advocates for a wide range of civic causes. They have endowed three chairs at IIT, one in sustainable energy and two in architecture, and support STEM+ initiatives and scholarships at the university. They are members of IIT’s Philip Danforth Armour Society, which recognizes donors who have given $1 million or more to further the university’s mission.
The Rowes also work to end disparity in education due to economic status. They established the Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy and Rowe Elementary School to provide educational opportunities to inner-city youth. To honor John Rowe’s commitment to education, IIT’s Board of Trustees renamed the university’s highest teaching honor—Excellence in Teaching Award—the John W. Rowe Excellence in Teaching Award. A $1.5 million scholarship fund to benefit Rowe-Clark Academy graduates who attend IIT was also announced and named for Rowe. Longtime IIT supporter and former board member J.B. Pritzker, and his wife M.K., will fund this new opportunity.
Rowe, chairman emeritus of Exelon Corporation, is also nationally recognized for his influence on climate change in the utility industry. The evening was sponsored by Exelon.