Students and faculty at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business will benefit from a new $1 million gift from longtime benefactor Allen J. Krowe ’54. Krowe’s funding will be used to expand the Office of Transformational Learning to support excellence in teaching and learning. The gift supports Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland, UMD’s $1.5 billion fundraising campaign focused on elevating and expanding the university’s mission of service, enhancing academic distinction and bolstering UMD’s leading-edge research enterprise.
Krowe credits the education he received at Maryland for propelling his career at IBM and Texaco to senior executive responsibilities and board service. Now he hopes the gift will bolster Maryland Smith’s business education for the next generation of leaders with innovative course design and learning experiences.
The Office of Transformational Learning is the engine behind Smith’s experiential learning initiatives. The office works with alumni, employers, startups and nonprofit organizations to create meaningful learning opportunities for students, and Krowe’s gift supports expanding those opportunities. The office also helps faculty explore and adopt innovative teaching technologies. Krowe’s support will enable the development of courses that blend real-time interactions among students and instructors with well-designed content and tools that students can use online, anytime and anywhere.
Krowe’s latest gift follows his decades of support for faculty and the university. His initial gift in 1986 to Maryland Smith established the Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence, the university’s first-of-its-kind recognition program to celebrate and reward instructional excellence. Each year, top faculty members are honored for the work they do in the classroom. Since its inception, more than 150 instructors have been recognized.
“When I finished at Maryland and went to work in the business world, I realized the powerful strength of my education that came from the quality of my instructors,” Krowe said. “The business school at Maryland did a tremendous job of educating me. I gave back by starting the teaching awards to allow teachers to be annually recognized as outstanding instructors. That’s been very rewarding.”
The native of Deltaville, Va., remembers his time at the university fondly, as an avid sports fan, Air Force ROTC member, saxophone player, and sometimes fraternity prankster.
“I never forgot the benefit I gained by spending four years in the business school,” Krowe said. “It enabled me to compete with anyone I encountered in the financial world.”
After graduating and serving a stint as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Krowe began his career as a certified public accountant at Touche, Niven, Bailey & Smart. In 1960 he joined IBM in the Federal Systems Division and worked his way up to be elected as IBM Corporate chief financial officer in 1982. He was then elected IBM executive vice president and a member of the board.
In 1988 he was recruited by Texaco to be senior vice president and CFO. He became vice chairman of the petroleum company in 1993 and retired in 1997.
Since establishing the teaching award program, Krowe has remained actively involved at Maryland. Krowe received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1986 and was named the business school’s alumnus of the year in 1988. He has volunteered his time as a fundraiser for the university, chairing the first University of Maryland Systemwide fundraising campaign, which secured $260 million in donations from private funds for the public university between 1988 and 1993.
“Having a chance to give back, and in so doing, be a small part of the extraordinary growth and excellence of the Smith School has meant a great deal to me,” he said. “I believe that each one of us should replenish those resources from which we have personally benefited.”
About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community.