Howell and Jean Lowe

A Continuing Gift

Giving.Howell and Jean LoweHowell and Jean Lowe spent their 54 years of married life in the United States but their continuous support of the United Board shows that higher education in China was always close to their hearts.

Howell Lowe (Luo Hui-quan) was born into a teaching minister’s family in Jinan, Shandong Province. He earned an engineering degree at Yenching University, one of the earliest partner institutions of the United Board. He graduated during the turbulent year of 1949, and the next year he departed for Hong Kong and, subsequently, a master’s degree program at Cornell University.

Jean Rowland spent her first eight years in Changli, Hebei Province. At 25 she was a newly commissioned missionary for the Methodist Church and eager to return to China, but World War II postponed her plans until 1947. She attended language school in Beijing and worked for two years in Sichuan Province before returning to the United States in 1951, when she met Howell at Cornell University. She resumed missionary service in 1952, working at a rural center near Fukuoka, Japan, then came back to the United States and married Howell in 1954. The couple raised two children as Howell built a career in the computer industry.

It would be 1977 before the Howells could visit China again but their bonds to the country remained strong during the long years of separation. The Lowes made their first gift to the United Board in 1956 and continued their annual giving until Jean’s passing in 2008 and Howell’s in 2013. Their estate gift to the United Board ensures that faculty and students in or partner schools will continue to benefit from the Lowe’s generosity for many years to come.

(First published in Horizons in April 2014)