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School of business renamed in honour of Ken Rowe

 

Ken Rowe signs the first Rowe school hoodies. (Bryn Karcha photo)

By John James, News Contributor and Aaron Merchant, Business Manager

Correction: In the original version of this article, Thomas Li was incorrectly identified as a first-year business student. He is in fact a second-year computer science student. The online version of this article has been corrected. The Gazette regrets this error.

The name ‘Rowe’ is familiar to all the students in the commerce and management faculties at Dalhousie—the faculties’ building is named after him. But on Friday, Rowe’s reputation as a key figure at Dal’s business school was further cemented with the renaming of the business school in his honour.

Much of the funding and many of the resources that the students in the school of management use on a day-to-day basis are owed to his generous donations. Last October Rowe donated $15 million to the school, one of the largest donations Dal has ever received.

Hundreds of paper airplanes fell from the tiers of the atrium as students celebrated the renaming of the school. It is a day the students and faculty are unlikely to forget, and that many hope will mark a new era for the business school.

Rowe’s reputation at the school comes not only from his financial contributions. Rowe has served on the Dal Board of Governors, as well as multiple advisory committees.

Students seem to be equally enthusiastic about Rowe’s contribution. Thomas Li, a second-year student in computer science, said “it seems like his interest in Dalhousie is not just superficial or a publicity stunt. He has a real interest in the university and its school of business.”

Rowe is member of the Order of Canada and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, and is widely regarded as one of the countries top business people. In an era where big business is often seen to be unsustainable and relentless in its pursuit of profit, Rowe‘s commitment to conducting business ethically and fostering economic growth in Nova Scotia make him stand out.

Such sentiments were shared by Dalhousie president Tom Traves who voiced his support of Rowe’s contributions on Friday, saying that Ken “has worked steadily, vigorously, to support and encourage the development of our school of business.”

Speaking to the students at the ceremony on Friday, Rowe’s enthusiasm for the school was apparent. “I only wish I could trade places with you, and relive some of the energy and excitement that I see in this room,” said Rowe. After the ceremony on Friday, he met with students from the commerce, management and MBA programs.

Both students and faculty see Rowe as a role model. “He’s a good example of the idea that you can come from anywhere in the world, become a success and most importantly, give back to your community and share your wealth,” says Li.

Peggy Cunningham, dean of the faculty of management, speaking at the ceremony of Friday, said that the university is “binding the name of our business school to Dalhousie’s most steadfast supporter. Ken is a person who truly embodies values-based management.”

Rowe founded the Industrial Marine Products (IMP) in 1967. He currently serves as IMP’s Executive Chairman.

 

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