Roger L. Howe and Joyce L. Howe

Roger L. and Joyce L. Howe, founders
Credit: University Communications and Marketing

Founders of the Howe Writing Initiative and the Howe Center for Writing Excellence

Roger and Joyce Howe (both Class of 1957) have made generous and significant contributions to Miami University for the purpose of improving student writing so that all Miami students are recognized as excellent writers. Over the last twelve years they have committed $12.3 million to the Howe Writing Initiative and the Roger and Joyce Howe Center for Writing Excellence. They believe nothing in education is more important for students' future careers than developing clear and persuasive writing ability.

Roger L. Howe, Biography

After graduating in 1957 from Miami University with a BS in business, Roger Howe was employed for 13 years by the S.D. Warren Co., a Boston-based fine paper manufacturer. He worked in sales management, product management, and as Director of Advertising.

In 1970 Roger purchased U.S. Precision Lens, a small maker of plastic optics in Cincinnati, and built it into a world leader of innovative optical systems for the photographic, instrument, and television industries. In 1986 he sold the company to Corning, Inc. and remained as Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 1997.

He formerly served on the boards of Cintas Corp., Convergys, Taft Broadcasting, U.S. Shoe Corp., Great American Communications, Eagle Picher Industries, Cincinnati Bell, Baldwin Piano and Organ, and U.S. Bancorp.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Roger has been active in health care as a board member of The Christ Hospital, The Elizabeth Gamble Deaconess Home Association, and the James N. Gamble Institute of Medical Research, including serving terms as Chairman of each of them. He was formerly a board member of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.

Roger Howe’s record of service to Miami University includes membership on the Business Advisory Council and the Board of Visitors of the Farmer School of Business, the University Foundation Board, and the Board of Trustees, which he chaired for three years. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Miami in 1987 and was inducted into the Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame in 1998.

Joyce Lutz Howe, Biography

Joyce Lutz Howe was born in Ashland, Ohio. She was raised and educated in Ashland, graduating as co-valedictorian of the 1953 high school class. From there she went to Miami University where she majored in Fine Arts with a specialty in graphics. She graduated with honors in 1957 and soon married classmate Roger L. Howe of Wakeman, OH.

Roger and Joyce briefly lived in Maine, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, however, since 1959 they have primarily lived in Cincinnati, OH.

Throughout her years in Cincinnati Joyce has been involved in the arts in a variety of ways. She was a docent for the Cincinnati Museum of Art, served on its board of trustees and has been a significant contributor. She and her husband have been supporters of the Taft Museum, The Contemporary Arts Center and the Arnoff Center for the Arts.

Joyce has pursued her personal art career specializing in watercolor, mixed media and oil painting. Her works have been sold in galleries in Cincinnati, OH, Chicago, IL, Petoskey, MI and Boca Grande, FL. She is particularly recognized for her talent with watercolors.

Joyce now divides her time between Cincinnati, OH, Boca Grande, FL, and Walloon Lake, MI, traveling extensively and continuing her artistic endeavors. With Roger, she enjoys spending time with their three children and their nine grandchildren.