Rowland J. Martin Sr., 72, who worked for the University of the District of Columbia for 13 years before retiring in 1992 as director of the office of community relations, died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma Oct. 9 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Martin, a former pianist and San Antonio entrepreneur, came to Washington in 1974 to take a job as director of program development for the National Citizens Participation Council. A few years later, he joined American University as director of student services.

Beyond his professional career, he was involved in fraternal, civic and social organizations. He was a member of Washington's Mu Lambda chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the D.C. chapter of the Fisk University Alumni Association, the Literary Ten book club and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Washington.

He served terms as a commissioner and interim chairman of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities from 1983 to 1992 and was a past member and chairman of the D.C. Community Humanities Council.

He was born in Bryan, Tex. He graduated with a degree in music from Fisk University in Nashville and received a master's degree in piano and music theory from Prairie View University.

Before moving to Washington, he was chairman of the Music Department at Saint Philip's College in San Antonio and owner and operator of a chain of small convenience stores.

His marriage to his first wife, Lorraine King Martin, ended in divorce. His second wife, Lois Davis Tyus, died in 1990.

Survivors include a son from his first marriage, Rowland J. Martin Jr. of Paterson, N.J.; two half-sisters; and a half-brother.