Press Release - Calvin Lowe Named New President of Bowie State University

March 29, 2000

University System of Maryland Names Calvin Lowe New President of Bowie State University

University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents Chairman Nathan A. Chapman Jr. announced today the appointment of Calvin W. Lowe as the ninth president of Bowie State University. Lowe, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College at Hampton University in Hampton, VA, will begin his new position in May.

An introduction of Lowe to the Bowie State community is scheduled for Thursday, March 30 at 11:30 a.m. in the Myers Auditorium in the Martin Luther King Jr. Communication Arts Center on the Bowie campus. On hand will be Chairman Chapman, USM Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg, members of the Board of Regents, and representatives from the Prince George's County political and business communities.

Since 1995, Calvin W. Lowe, 45, has provided executive oversight for the externally funded research enterprise of Hampton University, a historically black institution located in southeastern Virginia. In that position, he oversees and directs faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and administrators in all university research activities.

Lowe has been instrumental in developing HU as a major research facility. He played a key role in coordinating major international and national research activities in physics and atmospheric sciences, and is credited with securing a $10 million grant from NASA to establish Hampton's Research Center for Optical Physics. He also ensured the development of the first doctoral program and curriculum at the university, and worked to graduate its first four doctoral students in 1998.

A physicist by training, Lowe has received accolades from various quarters in scientific research during his time at Hampton, such as NASA, which honored him with an Outstanding Achievement Award from its Marshall Space Flight Center for the university's microgravity education effort; and from the U.S. Department of Defense, for which he developed a method for converting paper-based machine drawings to modern computer-assisted design files using a state-of-the-art supercomputer and other high performance computing platforms.

Lowe has provided significant professional and civic service to Hampton, serving on the boards of directors for a variety of organizations including the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, the Peninsula Advanced Technology Center, the Southeastern Universities Research Association, and the Virginia Aerospace Business Consortium. He also is a member of the steering committee for the Quality Education for Minorities Network.

"The appointment of Calvin Lowe to the presidency of Bowie State puts this institution into the forefront of historically black institutions across the nation," Chapman said. "He is a born leader, a cutting-edge scientist, a coalition builder, and an individual who sees the endless possibilities that comprise public higher education. He will set Bowie on a great course for the 21st century."

Prior to his arrival at Hampton, Lowe served three years as chair and professor of the physics department at the Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University in Huntsville. While there, he secured more than $2 million to build a new science laboratory and mentored the university's first three doctoral students. He also served in the leadership of the Science and Engineering Alliance, a consortium of Alabama A&M, Jackson State, Southern, and Prairie View A&M universities.

Lowe also enjoyed an earlier tenure at Hampton, where from 1987 to 1990 he was an associate professor of physics. Following that appointment and until the end of 1991, he simultaneously served as associate professor and chair of the physics department.

Lowe's academic career began at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where he was an assistant professor of physics for four years. This immediately followed his earning of a doctorate degree in solid state physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. He also holds a master's degree in plasma physics from M.I.T., and a bachelor's degree in physics from North Carolina A&T State University.

Lowe is the author or co-author of numerous scientific publications, many focusing on the optical properties of various compounds. His doctoral thesis, Optical Properties of Graphite Intercalation Compounds, was published by M.I.T. in 1983.

Lowe is a member of several professional associations, including the American Physical Society, the National Society of Black Physicists, the Association of University Technology Managers, and the National Coalition of Undergraduate Research Administrators.

Lowe replaces Nathanael Pollard, Jr., who served as president from 1993 to 1998. Wendell L. Holloway, a former Regent and a corporate executive, served as interim president following Pollard's departure.

USM Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg said: "Calvin Lowe has the mind of a science teacher and the heart and soul of an academic leader. When you combine these two elements, you have a person absolutely dedicated to improving the lives of young people, with the drive and know-how to achieve that aim by building bridges between the university and the private and public sectors. Hampton's loss is our gain - all of us in the University System of Maryland."

Walter Leonard, Bowie's Wilson H. Elkins Visiting Professor of Government and History and chairman of the presidential search committee, said Lowe should be commended for emerging ahead of more than 60 well-prepared applicants for the presidency.

"I for one am very pleased that he brings to the university a background in research and educational leadership, a zest for learning how to learn, and a concern about students," Leonard said. "He clearly understands that the institution is, after all, a place to educate, to guide, and to train students. That is the reason for existence."

Added Lowe: "Bowie State's expertise in educating top quality teachers and introducing technology to the teaching enterprise is greatly valuable to our region and
to the nation. It is, I believe, exactly the right focus for a regionally important university and provides a solid foundation for our future initiatives."

Lowe and his wife, Tanya, have two children, Maya, 23, and Calvin Allen, 12.

Maryland's oldest historically black institution, Bowie State University has grown from its origins as a teacher training school into a major regional comprehensive university. It has preserved its liberal tradition while building a broad new emphasis on information technology. Bowie State offers 19 undergraduate majors and 16 graduate programs in disciplines as diverse as computer science, human resource development, communications, and nursing. While small enough to provide individual student attention, Bowie State also plays a key role in regional economic development. It has more than 3,100 undergraduate students, 2,200 graduate/professional students, and 165 full-time faculty members.


Chris Hart
Phone: 301/445-2739