IU Honors Patty Stonesifer with Inaugural Women Leading the Way Award

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November 8, 2013

Patty Stonesifer recieving her award
Pictured from left to right: IU Women’s Philanthropy Council Founding Co-Chair and Indiana University First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie, Martha's Table President and CEO Patty Stonesifer, and Emmy award-winning WTHR Channel 13 Evening News Anchor Anne Marie Tiernon.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Today the Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council honored Patty Stonesifer as the inaugural recipient of the Women Leading the Way Award. This newly created annual award recognizes a woman associated with Indiana University for her extraordinary philanthropic achievements that improve communities and inspire others to work for positive change. The award was presented to Stonesifer this afternoon during a ceremony following her keynote address at the Indianapolis Women’s Philanthropy Conference. She was interviewed by Emmy award-winning WTHR Channel 13 evening news anchor Anne Marie Tiernon, also an IU alumna.

“Patty exemplifies the very spirit of the Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council’s Women Leading the Way Award,” said Laurie Burns McRobbie, founding co-chair of the IU Women’s Philanthropy Council and first lady of Indiana University. “She persistently challenges the status quo, focuses on initiating systemic change, and provides the resources to enable organizations to achieve their missions. Patty’s innovative approach to philanthropy and personal commitment to service bring great pride to her alma mater.”

Stonesifer is currently the president and CEO of Martha’s Table, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., committed to developing sustainable solutions to poverty with programs focused on providing food, nutrition, and education. Stonesifer served as the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for 11 years. In 2010, President Obama appointed her to serve as chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions. Her extensive nonprofit board experience includes serving on the Smithsonian Board of Regents and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, among many others. Prior to her tenure at the Gates Foundation, Stonesifer was senior vice president of the consumer and interactive products division at the Microsoft Corporation.

 “Patty Stonesifer was an obvious choice as the inaugural recipient of the Women Leading the Way Award,” said Kay Ryan Booth, chair of the IU Women’s Philanthropy Council. “Through her tenacity, proven leadership, and generous personal support, Patty has touched numerous lives during her career. She is truly leading the way in illustrating the power of philanthropy to transform good ideas into life-changing realities.”

An IU alumna, Stonesifer holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is also an honorary doctorate recipient from Indiana University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tufts University.

The IU Women's Philanthropy Council (WPC) was convened by the Indiana University Foundation Board of Directors in 2010. Its mission is to lead fundraising and engagement efforts that inspire women to give of their time, talent, and resources to Indiana University, and to develop women leaders in philanthropy.

Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university.

Today, the Foundation oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country with a market value in excess of $1.7 billion. In fiscal year 2013, IU received $305.9 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.