Fowlers make gift to Catawba, advancing scholarship fund
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Catawba College News Service
Newton and Nancy Fowler of Concord and members of their family have made a gift to Catawba College that moves their Fowler Endowed Scholarship Fund, established in 2005, to the First Family Scholarship level. Preference for the Fowler Family First Family Scholarship will be given to a student athlete who maintains a 3.0 grade point average while majoring in education.
Other members of the Fowler family who participated in establishing the scholarship include Dr. Ed Fowler and wife Christina Daugherty Fowler of Greenwood, S.C., both 1985 alumni of Catawba College, and Mark and Margaret Fowler Porter of Concord.
“We knew we wanted to move our Endowed Scholarship Fund to a First Family Fund and we’ve been working toward it. We felt like it was the right time to do this,” explained Nancy Fowler. “Our motivation is still to help needy and deserving students.”
When establishing the family’s Endowed Scholarship Fund at Catawba in 2005, Newton Fowler remembered how athletic scholarships had benefitted him and his son during their time in college. “Ed and I both attended college on athletic scholarships and know what it means to a person to be able to have this kind of assistance,” Newton Fowler said.
Ed Fowler attended Catawba on an athletic and academic scholarship and played basketball for Coach Sam Moir, serving as captain of the basketball team. He was All-Conference, and during his junior and senior years at Catawba, he became the college’s first Academic All-American. During his senior year, he received both the Kirkland and Whitener awards, honors that paid homage to his athletic prowess and to his academic, character and leadership abilities. In 2002, Ed Fowler was inducted into the Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame.
“What he did at Catawba, we’re extremely proud of that,” said Newton Fowler, who has served on the Catawba College Board of Trustees since 1996.
Catawba College Senior Vice President Tom Childress recognized the Fowler Family “as the type of individuals who strive to make a difference in the lives of others.” He noted their strong record of support to Catawba over several decades.
“The Fowler family members are special people to Catawba College,” Childress said. “They are humble and kind, and in their hearts they truly want to be agents of change who help students and this college succeed. We can never say thank you enough for all they have done for our institution.”
Newton and Nancy Fowler are active in Catawba’s Chiefs Club and have consistently supported the college in various capital efforts. Newton Fowler chaired the Campaign for Catawba between 1997 and 2002, which raised $59.6 million to use for infrastructure improvements, building upgrades and renovations and new facilities upgrades. The Fowler Athletic Office Complex in the Hayes Field House on campus is named in his honor. During the mid-1990s, he also spearheaded an effort to raise funds to upgrade the John Coble Training Room in the Abernethy Physical Education Center on campus.
Newton Fowler, a native of Mt. Airy, was employed by Philip Morris for 38 years before retiring in 1993 as general manager of Philip Morris’ Concord manufacturing center. He holds both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Richmond. He received an honorary doctorate of humanitarian service degree from Catawba in 1995. He has served on numerous boards, including the board of the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics, the UNC-Charlotte Board of Visitors, the N.C. Secretary of State’s Foundation for Good Business, all of which he has chaired, the Board of Directors for the Foundation of UNC-Charlotte, and the Cabarrus County Agricultural Fair Board. He was honored with North Carolina’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, during the annual College Board of Trustees meeting in 2007. That honor is given by the N.C. governor to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Contributions to their communities, extra efforts in their careers and many years of service to their organizations are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for this award.
A native of Arlington, Va., Nancy Fling Fowler earned her undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Richmond, where she met her husband. She was the first woman in Chesterfield County, Va., to be nominated to run for a post on the school board and was a member of the James River Women’s Club of Richmond, also serving as its president. She was a member of the founding committee of Hospice of Cabarrus County and volunteered for Meals on Wheels in Cabarrus County for more than 15 years.
The Fowlers’ daughter, Margaret Porter of Concord, holds a master’s degree in adaptive physical education and has been a physical education teacher in the Cabarrus County Schools.
The Fowlers have four grandsons, two of whom are sons of Margaret and Mark Porter — Taylor, a junior at East Carolina University majoring in pre-med, and Steven, a junior at Mt. Pleasant High School who plays on the football team there. The sons of Ed and Christina Fowler of Greenwood, S.C., are Brett, a sophomore at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., majoring in pre-pharmacy, and Bryce, a junior at Greenwood High School and a member of the baseball team there.