Chapman Trustee Dale E. Fowler ’58 and his wife, Sarah Ann, have committed $45 million to establish an engineering school at the University, raising the couple’s overall Chapman commitment to $100 million. The figure represents the largest reported gift in institutional history.
“Dale and Ann Fowler have made a tremendous impact on Chapman University over the years,” said Chapman President Daniele Struppa, who announced the Fowlers’ commitment during his first State of the University Address on Feb. 24 in Musco Center for the Arts. “This commitment will help us to take our place among the most respected institutions in the country.”
In 2013, the Fowlers’ $55 million gift named the Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman. At the time, it was the second-largest reported gift ever to a law school.
“I really feel like Chapman is part of our family, and we enjoy being involved in the University’s educational areas, from science to law to the arts,” Dale Fowler said. “We feel we are making a positive impact on future generations of students.”
Struppa said the Fowlers’ commitment moves Chapman closer to realizing its dream of establishing a school of engineering in the Center for Science and Technology, now under construction on campus. The University could begin accepting engineering students as soon as 2020.
“This is really a natural evolution of our success in the sciences,” the president said. “It allows us to attract students of very high quality, and it fills an important workforce need for California.”
The addition of an engineering school is a next step in Chapman’s progression from regional to national influence, reflecting the growing importance of math and the sciences. The new school’s first majors will be electrical and computer engineering as well as software development; civil, biomedical and mechanical engineering may follow.
An entrepreneur from the start of his Chapman experience, Fowler began his real estate career while finishing his college studies and went on to build a successful business in industrial property development.
The Fowlers have been married for 56 years and have three children – son Jeffrey Fowler ’88 and daughter Kathryn Fowler Flattum ’88 are also Chapman graduates – as well as 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Additionally, Fowler granddaughter Sarah Robblee, Ph.D., is a professor at Chapman, and daughter Lori Smith serves on the Board of Governors.