I am pleased to announce that Elizabethtown College alums Kenneth L. and Rosalie E. Bowers, Class of 1959 and 1958, respectively, will contribute, over time, $5 million to the College's BE Inspired Campaign. In recognition of their generous support, the College will name the new $23.4 million sports, fitness and wellness facility, The Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Wellness. A portion of their support will also provide for the long-term sustainability of the new facility and other programs. Construction on The Bowers Center is scheduled to begin in fall 2017 with expected completion by December, 2018.
With this gift, more than $45 million has been raised to date for the Campaign, including $37 million in cash and cash commitments and an additional $8 million in bequest expectancies, toward the BE Inspired Campaign goal of $50 million.
The more than 78,000 square foot facility will house wellness programming, intramural and club sports as well as intercollegiate athletics. With group fitness studios, cardio, strength and conditioning areas, a track, wellness classrooms, meeting and gathering spaces for students, a cafe, a spin studio, training and athletic treatment areas, and office space for health educators and campus recreation, the new center will be for "every student, every day."
I am honored to share Ken Bowers' thoughts on the College: "Rosalie and I have admired Elizabethtown College over the past 62 years, first as students and then as alumni. In short, we are very proud of this institution and are pleased to provide financial support for its continued growth and development. We have always been impressed with the College's mission of educating students for Service above Self."
Ken and Rosalie met on the E-town campus in 1955, earned bachelor's degrees and were high school teachers. Rosalie taught English and Spanish. Ken taught English and journalism. Rosalie earned her master's degree in library science at Drexel University and Ken earned his in communications at The Pennsylvania State University. They married in 1960.
From 1961 to 1967 they returned to Elizabethtown College, where Ken became sports information director and taught journalism for the College. Rosalie was a librarian at the College; she also taught Spanish.
They moved to the New York area when Ken joined the Public Relations Department at AT&T. Rosalie took her library expertise to Upsala College in New Jersey. In 1970, they returned to south-central Pennsylvania when Ken joined Hershey Foods Corporation to help establish a broadened public relations department. When they retired, Ken was vice president of corporate communications at Hershey Foods, and Rosalie was assistant corporate secretary at the former Pennsylvania Blue Shield.
Ken earned Elizabethtown College's Educate for Service – Professional Achievement award and the Educate for Service – Service to the College award in 1989 and 1995 respectively. In 1999 Elizabethtown College gave Ken an honorary degree of doctor of commercial science, honoris causa. He joined the Elizabethtown College Board of Trustees in 1982 and actively served for 25 years, including serving as board chair for three years, beginning in 2000. Eight years later, he was awarded emeritus trustee status. Rosalie earned an Educate for Service – Service to the College award from Elizabethtown in 2016.
In recognition of an earlier gift, the College named a property adjacent to campus the Bowers Writers House.
Ken and Rosalie Bowers have lived out the College's motto of 'educate for service' in their professional lives and community involvement. Their gift will help generations of students enjoy healthy recreation and enrich the life of the campus community.
- President Carl Strikwerda