$100,000 gift for Rowan facility
GLASSBORO - South Jersey natives Robert and Susan Davenport Brooks, longtime givers to athletics and academics, donated $100,000 to Rowan University on Thursday. The money will be put toward building new athletic facilities on the university's West Campus, according to school officials.
"As an alumna, it has been incredible to watch the developments and changes at Rowan during the past few years," said Susan Brooks, formerly of Woodbury Heights, a 1966 alumna who earned her bachelor's degree in education. "Bob and I are excited to support the university and its vision, and look forward to being a part of Rowan's future."
The Brookses recently presented their gift to the Rowan University Foundation and the Profs athletics program through their Brooks Family Foundation.
"The Brookses' gift provides us seed money that will help us build athletic facilities on our West Campus," said Rowan president Ali Houshmand. "The future growth of our athletics program is significant to the continuing evolution of our institution. We want it to grow as our university grows."
"There are three things students consider when looking at colleges - academic reputation, housing, and athletics," said Rowan athletic director Dan Gilmore. "Our academics are better than they ever have been, our housing is beautiful, and this gift will help propel our athletic program into the future."
Gilmore said he hoped to build indoor and outdoor training facilities on the West Campus within the next few years. It's part of the university's long-range plan, he said, to locate all of its athletic facilities on the West Campus to help make room for additional academic buildings in Glassboro.
Rowan's West Campus is on 600 acres at Routes 322 and 55 in Harrison and Mantua Townships, about a mile and a half from the main campus, and is home to the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University.
The Brookses' support of Rowan (formerly Glassboro State) dates back to 2007, when they established the Susan Davenport Brooks Scholarship to benefit students in the College of Education. The program has assisted 10 students.
In addition to academic excellence, the couple view athletics as a key component of the collegiate experience. "Athletics equip students for success both in competition and in life," said Bob Brooks, from Wenonah and currently mayor of Murrysville, Pa., where the couple reside. "Student athletes learn valuable lessons in teamwork, self-discipline, and time management that benefit them long after they've earned their college degree."
The Brookses were investors in several sports teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins, Texas Rangers, the minor-league baseball team Altoona Curve, and the minor-league ice hockey teams Wheeling Nailers, Wilkes-Barre Baby Pens, and Adirondack Phantoms.