Kenneth E. Rowe was Professor of Church History and Methodist Librarian for thirty-two years and retired in June 2002. He:
- Championed the idea that Drew University should compete for the archives and persuaded President Hardin to embrace it (University in the Forest, 309-312).
- Assisted in raising the funds for the building.
- Took the lead role with the architects in the design of the building.
- Built the University’s Methodist collections and secured numerous special collections from individuals. Combined with the holdings of the United Methodist Church, the entire collection is known as one of the three major research collections in Methodism, the other two being Duke University and the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester, England and attracts scholars from around the world.
- Secured several major endowments in support of the Methodist collections.
- Continues to look for gifts to support the Methodist collections even in his retirement.
In many respects, you could say that the Methodist Center is “the house that Ken built.”
In 2011, the president and trustees authorized naming the conference room in the Methodist Archives Building as the Kenneth E. Rowe Room.
(Content contributed by Dean of Libraries Andrew Scrimgeour.)