A new $1 million gift from a longtime benefactor will expand opportunities for innovative teaching and learning in the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

The gift from Allen J. Krowe ’54, a retired Texaco executive, will support the Office of Transformational Learning, the engine behind Smith’s experiential learning initiatives. It works with alumni, employers, startups and nonprofit organizations to create meaningful learning opportunities for students, and helps faculty explore and adopt new teaching technologies.

Krowe’s generosity will spur the creation of new courses that blend real-time interactions among students and instructors with well-designed content and tools that students can use online, anytime and anywhere.

“Having a chance to give back, and in so doing, be a small part of the extraordinary growth and excellence of the Smith School has meant a great deal to me,” he said. “I believe that each one of us should replenish those resources from which we have personally benefited.”Krowe

The gift supports Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland, UMD’s $1.5 billion fundraising effort to elevate and expand the university’s mission of service, enhance academic distinction and bolster UMD’s research enterprise.

The native of Deltaville, Va., remembers his time at the university fondly, as an avid sports fan, Air Force ROTC member, saxophone player and sometimes fraternity prankster.

After graduating and serving as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Krowe began his career as a certified public accountant at Touche, Niven, Bailey & Smart. In 1960 he joined IBM in the Federal Systems Division and worked his way up to IBM Corporate chief financial officer in 1982. He was then elected IBM executive vice president and a member of the board.

In 1988 he was recruited by Texaco to be senior vice president and CFO. He became vice chairman of the petroleum company in 1993 and retired in 1997.

Krowe’s initial gift in 1986 to Maryland Smith established the Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence, the university’s first-of-its-kind recognition program to celebrate and reward instructional excellence. Each year, top faculty members are honored for the work they do in the classroom. Since its inception, more than 150 instructors have been recognized.

“When I finished at Maryland and went to work in the business world, I realized the powerful strength of my education that came from the quality of my instructors,” Krowe said. “The business school at Maryland did a tremendous job of educating me. I gave back by starting the teaching awards to allow teachers to be annually recognized as outstanding instructors. That’s been very rewarding.”

Krowe received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1986 and was named the business school’s alumnus of the year in 1988. He chaired the first University of Maryland System fundraising campaign, which secured $260 million in donations from private funds between 1988 and 1993.