Letter From the President
Greetings and best wishes from Williamson ,
Looking back on the 2022-2023 school year , you can see why we chose “ Reaching New Heights ” as our theme for this issue of the President ’ s Report . Giving more students the opportunity to attend Williamson is part of our current strategic plan and a goal of our board of trustees and administration . In this past year , we continued to take steps to make this goal a reality . What we were able to accomplish is the result of our generous donors and the amazing faculty and staff that I am privileged to work with every day . Thank you for believing in and supporting our mission . Because of you , we are transforming the lives of even more young men here at Williamson .
In January , the greatly anticipated Joseph L . and Marion M . Wesley Student Center was finally opened . As you can imagine , this state-of-the art facility is extremely popular with the students . You will see them in the gym and weight room as early as 4:30 a . m . and in the evenings playing pickup basketball and volleyball games , using the batting cage , playing video games , and participating in intramural sports . Having a great facility to work out and socialize in at the end of a long day and on the weekends has been extremely beneficial for our students . It ’ s a wonderful addition to the campus , and we are eternally grateful to Joe and Marion Wesley for this transformational gift .
In February , we cut the ribbon on the Thomas and Agnes Heenan Chapel Mezzanine . John and Bernadette Heenan were motivated to donate the money needed to build the mezzanine and renovate the Clara Schrenk Memorial Chapel to honor John ’ s parents who imparted strong Christian values that they want to see instilled in our students . Faith is one of our core values , and our students participate in chapel daily . This expansion and renovation of the chapel provides 70 additional seats for our growing student body .
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new 72-bed Howley Dormitory was held in March , another critical facility necessary to increase student enrollment . The dormitory is named in honor of the Howley family , the donors who generously contributed to its construction . The Howley Foundation committed to a $ 7 million gift for the construction of this new dorm . W . Nicholas Howley is the founder and chairman of the Howley Foundation , and his wife Lorie Howley is president of the foundation ’ s board of directors . The dormitory is now under construction along Cottage Row and will be ready for occupancy by the fall semester of 2024 .
After making this generous donation to Williamson , Nick Howley helped us again by inspiring the 67 members of the graduating Class of 2W3 as the keynote speaker at our 130th Commencement . Nick shared his ideas with the graduates on how to be successful based on his life ’ s experiences . He even read a poem that he shared with them .
We honored and remembered the transformational gifts we have received from Henry Rowan and the Henry M . Rowan Family Foundation at the 6th Annual Rowan Day in November 2022 . Dr . Phillip Tumminia , who helped obtain Henry Rowan ’ s $ 100 million gift to Rowan University , then named Glassboro State College , shared his personal insights on Henry Rowan . He pointed out that , just as Henry Rowan ’ s generosity changed Glassboro State College , it has also changed Williamson for the better . We can never thank Henry Rowan , the Rowan family , and the Rowan Family Foundation for all they have done and continue to do for us .
On a sad note , Lee Rowan , Henry ’ s wife , passed away on July 12 at the age of 99 . Lee was a great supporter