J. Steven Cowen '69: Giving Back to Bryant Is "Not Just a One-Way Street"
J. Steven Cowen '69, who was recognized with Bryant's prestigious Nelson J. Gulski Alumni Service Award in 2009, remains actively engaged with the life and momentum of Bryant University. And "it's not just a one-way street," Steve says. "The feedback Bryant graduates give me and the questions they ask make me think."
After building a successful 17-year career at United Technologies Corp. and becoming vice president of finance, Steve left to found his own firm. Over the years, Steve had always planned to become involved and give back to Bryant when he retired. But a dozen years ago he had occasion to visit the campus and was moved by the impressive students and facilities. "I realized that my contacts would go away once I retired," Steve say, "and so I shouldn't wait to begin participating." Now Steve has many points of engagement with the university and serves as an inspiration for others.
Steve has recently established a generous bequest in his will to create a legacy that will support Bryant's continued growth trajectory. He is also a frequent campus visitor, regularly speaking to Bryant classes and serving as a mentor for students and young alumni who are embarking on their careers. In addition, he serves as an advisor, lending his expertise and experience to the university's student-run Archway Investment Fund. He and his wife, Lily, also support the Black & Gold Fund for Bryant Athletics.
"When I graduated from Bryant, it was like they put an invisible 'B' on my forehead," Steve says. "It becomes part of you. I am so proud of what is going on there, and I celebrate it by contributing to Bryant's future."