Austin E. “Dutch” Knowlton
Austin E. “Dutch” Knowlton (1909-2003) was a pioneer, entrepreneur and philanthropist whose profession was architecture and business but whose passion was education and philanthropy. Mr. Knowlton owned and chaired the Knowlton Construction Company,which was started by his father in Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1937.Knowlton Construction was responsible for over 600 major construction projects throughout Ohio and the Midwest.
A 1927 graduate of Bellefontaine High School, Mr. Knowlton earned his architectural engineering degree from The Ohio State University in1931. He was an avid sportsman with a 50-year interest in saddlebred horses and was a trustee of the Little Brown Jug Society for harness racing in Delaware, Ohio. Mr. Knowlton was an original founding partner and board chair for the Cincinnati Bengals and held a major ownership interest in the Cincinnati Reds.
Mr. Knowlton was a leading philanthropist during his lifetime with a focus on educational institutions, including scholarship endowments at more than 25 colleges and universities as well as landmark buildings and programs across Ohio. In addition to his scholarship support for Otterbein students, his Foundation was the lead supporter of The Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science at Otterbein University.
The Austin E. Knowlton Scholarship
The Austin E. Knowlton Scholarship was endowed at Otterbein University with gifts from The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation in 2005 and supplemented with additional generous gifts in subsequent years. The scholarship provides support for undergraduate students making satisfactory progress toward graduation, with preference for students from Ohio.
“Dutch” Knowlton established the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation in 1981. Its primary mission is to promote and advance higher education in the United States and to provide direct grants and contributions to qualified colleges and universities.