December 14, 2015
I write to inform you of the passing of Henry Rowan, who died peacefully on December 9th at the age of ninety-two. Hank was a remarkable man who lived a life-long love affair with Lake George. As we all know, Hank was a remarkably generous supporter of the Lake George Land Conservancy.
In many ways, of course, Hank Rowan was bigger than life. A brief note like this can only hint at his varied and extraordinary accomplishments. I think you would agree that Hank’s story is particularly American—he was a person of deep talent, endless persistence, and sweeping vision, who believed that anything was possible. Again and again throughout his life, Hank proved this belief to be true.
Everyone knows how Hank worked at home making the first steps in a decades-long journey that developed a new engineering technology and launched a company that now operates around the world. Many people also marveled at his skill and sportsmanship racing his Star-class boat. We have all been moved and inspired by the bold and gracious manner in which he helped to secure the future of the lake he so deeply loved.
In 1999, Hank played a central part in the Conservancy’s protection of 168 acres of land with almost a mile of shoreline situated across from Silver Bay. Today, we know this tract as the Margaret Boyd Rowan Preserve. In celebration of his effort, our organization bestowed on him a new award—now institutionalized as the Rowan Award—which is our organization’s highest honor. In the years since then, Hank provided major support for LGLC, and truly had a hand in every one of our organization’s accomplishments.
Hank was determined to live his life making a difference. All the things we celebrate about Hank’s life had one common element—opening the doors of possibility for others. He encouraged his friends and neighbors to step up to lake protection by offering to match their donations. He transformed a regional teacher’s college into a national university with an outstanding engineering school as a strategy to provide opportunity for people to change their own lives.
There could never be a full accounting of the ways Henry Rowan has touched others, helping men and women to shape a better future for themselves. The reason we will never know the full measure of his life is that his example and legacy will live on, in generation after generation both at the lake, at Rowan University, and around the world.
We at the Lake George Land Conservancy are honored by his support for our mission; we are inspired by his example, and we stand together determined to seize the opportunities that Hank Rowan has provided for us.
On behalf of the entire board and staff of the Lake George Land Conservancy, I express our deepest gratitude for sharing in the life of Henry Rowan. I extend our love and sympathy to Lee, Ginny, Manning, and the entire Rowan family.
The family has suggested that memorial contributions can be made to the Lake George Land Conservancy.
LGLC President of the Board of Directors