Sallie W. Rowland


Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2008)
B.S., 1954
Kelley School of Business Distinguished Entrepreneur (1995)
Indiana University Bloomington
Kelley School of Business
B.S., 1954


From the time of her graduation from IU in 1954, Sallie W. Rowland has been making history as a pioneer in interior design and an outstanding entrepreneur.

After honing her skills as vice president of Business Furniture Corp., she founded Rowland Design in 1968, guiding her company to outstanding success. Throughout her career she has melded artistic talent, business acumen and warm, nurturing leadership.

Ernst & Young named her its 1994 Entrepreneur of the Year and in 1995 the Kelley School of Business gave her its Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. Always passionate about historic preservation, she has been a board member of the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana and was the first woman to serve as president of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. Because she challenged the prevailing bulldozer mentality, several historic districts were designated and historic structures preserved.

Among other firsts, she was the first woman president of the Economic Club of Indianapolis and the first woman to chair the United Way Campaign for Central Indiana. In retirement, she continues to serve. She is a member of the Kelley School's Dean's Council, a trustee of Hanover College, a board member of the Economic Club of Indiana, and co-chairs the Urban Design Oversight Committee, which is charged with establishing urban-design guidelines for downtown Indianapolis.