» Dale E. Fowler '58 Bust


Dale E. Fowler is an individual focused on community. He knows that a strong community empowers each person connected to it. It provides a network of connections, opens up opportunities and spurs growth. And recognizing this early on, Dale began his ventures into real estate before even graduating from Chapman College in 1958.

His first investment was in his senior year. While paying his way through college, he had been able to save just enough money to buy land in Huntington Beach. He then took out a loan to build a handful of apartments. A few years later, he sold the land for a profit. This experience laid the groundwork for a career that would give rise to a thriving business in industrial property development that helped develop Orange and Riverside counties through crucial periods.

One cannot help but acknowledge that the landscape of Southern California was massively influenced by Dale’s vision. As he constructed, managed and leased residential and commercial properties, new industries and businesses found their ways into counties that for the earlier half of the century had held relatively little infrastructure for such business compared to their northern counterpart of Los Angeles County.

Through Fowler Properties, Inc., machine shops, auto, body repair shops, furniture repair shops and many other industries found a home in Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana and Ontario. Because of his entrepreneurship and strong work ethic, Southern California experienced permanent changes that would spur new lifestyles and communities.

While each city touched by Dale experienced a strong economic push forward—the results of which are still present and often spurring further developments—Orange was blessed to have a permanent connection to Dale Fowler through Chapman University.

Chapman has represented a core part of his community throughout his entire life, as he grew up merely a few miles away, attended the school as a young man and now owns a home nearby. Two of his children even attended Chapman University, and his family’s connection to the place has only grown over the years.

As someone well-acquainted with the power of real estate, Dale respected what Chapman, as an institution of higher education, meant for the surrounding area. He understood that it represented and still represents a cradle for innovation, a home to endless opportunities in numerous fields, a way to attract people from across the nation and beyond to an enduring community.

Since the turn of the century, he has empowered Chapman to grow in every way imaginable. Athletics, the arts, healthcare programs and student scholarships have all been touched by his generosity. However, two areas in particular at Chapman have been propelled forward by his philanthropy.

In 2013, he gave a $55 million gift to name Chapman’s law school the Dale E. Fowler School of Law. “For our law school,” Tom Campbell, former dean of the law school, said, “it is the most definitive statement possible that we are here to stay and to prosper. After a start only 18 years ago, the law school now to be known as The Dale E. Fowler School of Law will take its place among the established, long-range focused law schools in the country. Because of the exceptional generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Fowler, we can now make long-term plans for how we will continue to provide top quality legal education many years into the future.”

While Dale Fowler’s legacy was cemented with such a gift, he never stopped giving, empowering Chapman to reach new heights. In fact, another naming gift—$45 million—would establish the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering in 2019, launching Chapman into a new era.

This gift represented Dale’s strong belief in Chapman’s ability to evolve into a community focused on fostering innovation through the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It also showed his clear commitment to the Orange County community, as countless leaders have acknowledged the need for careers and work built around the STEM fields to protect Orange County’s infrastructure and continued prosperity.

As a man of endless vitality and foresight, Dale E. Fowler has been critically involved with the development of Southern California for decades. He ignited commerce in Southern California in the latter half of the 20th century and has been an advocate for education, the arts and numerous important causes for decades. To honor him with a bust at Chapman University is to show our unwavering commitment to our community.

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Dale E. Fowler bust


Designation Name
Dale E. Fowler '58 School of Law

Miriam Baker

Campus Location
Kennedy Hall
Orange Campus