Stanley Howe 2005
Stanley M. Howe
BS 1946, Engineering
Stanley M. Howe (’46 engineering) and his wife, Helen, are passionate in their belief in and support of education. Both overcame significant obstacles along their own educational
paths, and throughout their adult lives they have been committed to helping others overcome theirs.
Stanley Howe used his education—at Iowa State and later at Harvard where he received the MBA in 1948—to become one of the most successful business people in Iowa. He started with Home-O-Nize in 1948 as its 21st employee, and was instrumental in building it into HON Industries and later HNI Corporation, the nation’s second-largest office furniture manufacturer. He served as vice president of production, executive vice president, president, CEO, and board chairman, retiring in 1998 as chairman emeritus.
Stanley and Helen met at Iowa State, and while Helen didn’t graduate from Iowa State, she later returned to college, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1981.
The Howes are philanthropic and community development leaders in their hometown of Muscatine, and through their family foundation, they have contributed millions of dollars to worthy causes. Stanley was a leader in addressing a critical health care shortage in the community and continues to be a leader in economic development.
Their generosity has benefited many causes and institutions, but none more than Iowa State University and its College of Engineering. It was the Howes’ leadership gift that launched the Engineering Teaching and Research Complex, and Stanley and Helen Howe Hall is named in their honor. Their gifts have supported many other educational needs at Iowa State, the University of Iowa and Iowa Wesleyan College.
Among Stanley’s awards are the Iowa Business Leadership Award, induction into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame and the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America. He has served as a board member and officer on the National Association of Manufacturers and Iowa Business Council.
He is a life member of the ISU Alumni Association, a governor of the ISU Foundation and a member of the Order of the Knoll. The Howes have four grown children: Thomas (’75 industrial administration), Janet Howe O’Callahan, Steven and James.