The chief executive officer of Stilwell Financial Inc., a global financial services company, will speak at the William Woods University commencement Friday, Dec. 13.
Landon H. Rowland, Stilwell’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, will be the commencement speaker. Through affiliates and subsidiary companies, Stilwell has operations in North America, Europe and Asia.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Rowland is chairman of several Kansas City-based non-profit organizations, including the Local Investment Commission (LINC), Swope Ridge Geriatric Center, the Metropolitan Performing Arts Fund and the American Royal Association.
William Woods will confer 219 degrees during the commencement ceremonies, making a total of 633 degrees conferred during 2002, approximately 100 more than in 2001. This will be the third year in a row that William Woods will graduate more than 500 students in one year.
During the ceremony at 7 p.m. in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center, the university will grant one associate of applied science, five bachelor of arts degrees, one bachelor of fine arts degree, 59 bachelor of science degrees, 47 master of business administration degrees and 106 master of education degrees.
With increased campus enrollment and the growth of the university’s graduate and adult studies programs, William Woods now holds three graduation ceremonies each year. In addition to the 219 students graduating Friday, the university graduated 200 in May and 214 in August. This is the 11th year a December commencement has been held.
Landon Rowland has been chairman, president and chief executive officer of Stilwell Financial Inc. (NYSE: SV) since the company’s inception. In July 2000, Stilwell was spun-off from Kansas City Southern Industries (NYSE: KSU) where Rowland was chairman of the board from 1997 to 2000. He joined Kansas City Southern Industries (KCSI) in 1980, became president and chief operating officer in 1983 and chief executive officer in 1987.
Throughout his tenure as president of KCSI, he guided the development of both the company’s transportation division, including acquisition of the Mid-South, Gateway Western, and Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana (in Mexico), and its financial services division, including the acquisitions of Janus Capital, Berger and Nelson Money Managers (Stilwell’s current subsidiaries), as well as the creation of the IDEX mutual fund series. Rowland was also chairman of the board of DST Systems, Inc., a former KCSI subsidiary, from 1983 to 1995.
Prior to joining KCSI, Rowland was a partner in the law firm of Watson, Ess, Marshall & Enggas of Kansas City, Mo., (1962-1980) and he was a professorial lecturer in antitrust law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (1977-1979).
Rowland is on the board of directors of Kansas City Southern Industries, Inc.; Janus Capital Management LLC; Berger Financial Group LLC, Nelson Money Managers plc, and INTECH.
He is also a member of the board of directors of the National Catholic Reporter, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Jacob L. & Ella C. Loose Foundation, Missouri Family and Community Trust, Business Executives for National Security, the American Arbitration Association, and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. He is a trustee of the Linda Hall Library and the Midwest Research Institute.
Rowland received a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College in 1959 and a bachelor of laws degree from Harvard Law School in 1962.
Rowland and his wife, Sarah, patronize the Kansas City Ballet, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Kansas City Symphony and the Missouri Repertory Theatre, all beneficiaries of the Metropolitan Performing Arts Fund, which he chairs. They recently created an endowment for the purchase of American Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.
Sarah Rowland breeds and raises American Saddlebred horses, which she has ridden since growing up in Moberly, Mo. Together she and her husband have created an endowed scholarship at William Woods, which is called the Gayle S. Lampe Equestrian Achievement Award.