The Dr. Matthew P. Rowan Memorial Foundation was formed in 2016 by friends of Matt Rowan to foster amateur beach volleyball competition and support and develop athletes for that competition.

Doctor Matthew Penick Rowan, a resident of San Antonio originally from College Station, Texas, was born June 15, 1982. Matt passed away at the age of 34 in the loving arms of Sunday Stewart Rowan, his beautiful bride of five months and a day, in a tragic hot air balloon accident on July 30, 2016 above pastureland in Maxwell, Texas.

Matt graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 2004, The George Washington University in Washington, DC with a Master of Forensic Sciences, Toxicology in 2006, and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Pharmacology in 2011. Doctor Rowan was the Chief of Clinical Trials in Burns and Trauma at the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research, and a beloved Adjunct Professor at Trinity University where he was scheduled to teach chemistry. Matt had previously been an Adjunct Chemistry Professor at St. Mary’s University and Northwest Vista College in San Antonio.

In addition to being a loving husband, son and stepfather, and a brilliant scientist, Matt loved volleyball. He was an active member of the San Antonio and Austin beach volleyball communities, playing whenever and with whomever he could. As with the rest of his life, Matt did not settle for mediocre performance. Through hard work, commitment, and determination, Matt worked his way from the rec leagues in San Antonio to playing competitively in A and BB tournaments throughout Texas. Along the way, he made a lot of friends, often silently offering them assistance and encouragement to deal with life’s challenges.

In memory of Matt and his love for volleyball, family and the community, the Foundation will provide a minimum of one program annually to support the development of an amateur beach volleyball player who demonstrates a similar passion for volleyball and the same commitment to excellence and service to others, no matter the challenges facing them.


  • Amateur beach volleyball athlete;
  • Must have an interest in playing in national or international competitions;
  • Must demonstrate commitment towards excellence in athletics, academics and community service.


  • Complete the Dr. Matthew P. Rowan Financial Assistance Program Application
  • Include three reference letters as described in the application.
  • Include a letter from the player’s parent(s), providing a brief summary of circumstances impacting their ability to meet player development expenses.
  • Include a letter from the player describing their recent achievements in the sport; their specific player development needs; and how this program will help them achieve their long-term goals in beach volleyball.

Award Selection

  • Dr. Matthew P. Rowan Memorial Foundation Program Selection Committee

Financial Assistance Program Amount

  • Player development expenses up to $3,000

Due Date: Mar 29th, 2024.

Submit complete application and other required documentation online.

Finalists will be selected by and invited for an interview with the Program Selection Committee.

Recipients will be invited to a celebration in San Antonio late April/Early May. Exact date to be determined.