Illinois Tech Legacy

John Rowe

John Rowe

University Regent John Rowe, chairman emeritus of Exelon Corporation, has been an advocate for Illinois Tech for nearly 15 years. He, his wife, Jeanne, and the Rowe family recently became the newest members of the Philip Danforth Armour Society’s $10 million or more giving level.

Rowe’s engagement with Illinois Tech began through his love of architecture. His first-ever gift to the university was in support of the Mies van der Rohe Society, and he served as a member of its Board of Advisors while he and Jeanne volunteered for the society’s preservation initiatives.

In 2005 the couple took their passion for architecture one step further and established the John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Architecture Chair through Illinois Tech’s College of Architecture. Inspired by fellow regent Ralph Wanger’s gift to create the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research, the Rowes established a second endowed chair in 2008—the Rowe Family Endowed Chair in Sustainable Energy—to support their interest in energy initiatives. In 2011 they created a third chair, again within the College of Architecture: the Rowe Family College of Architecture Dean Endowed Chair.

In addition to his family’s involvement, Rowe has also supported the university at a corporate level through his work with Exelon. Now in its ninth year, the Exelon Summer Institute supports students transitioning to college life and gives them an introduction to the rigorous education they will receive during their first year at Illinois Tech. The company also made a gift to STEM schools, including Illinois Tech, in honor of Rowe’s retirement in 2011.

In 2015 Illinois Tech and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a partnership among the university, Exelon Corporation, and Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center. The new program, now known as Opt4STEM, ensures that Chicago Public Schools students are prepared to excel in STEM fields at four-year research universities. Rowe, although retired, remains involved with this support through Exelon.

The Rowe family now joins the 13 other families who have made transformative gifts to the university at the $10 million or more level and have ensured their legacy in Illinois Tech history.

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