Marian Louise Kabler Rowan and Robert Rowan, Jr. established the Robert Rowan, III Memorial Fund in November 1979 in memory of their son and to provide an award for excellence in the Department of Chemistry.
Dr. Robert Rowan, III was born in Caracas, Venezuela and grew up in Westfield, New Jersey. He earned his undergraduate degree at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and his masterís and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Rowan specialized in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which is a method for studying the structure of molecules in solution. He also researched myelin basic proteins (MBP), which are the structural proteins that coat nerves.
Dr. Rowan had been an associate professor of chemistry at University of Maryland for three years when he succumb to cancer in September 1978 at the age of 32.