BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — On Thursday, October 4, Indiana University and the Indiana University Foundation honored five individuals as the Partners in Philanthropy. The awards, presented by Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie and IU Foundation President-elect Daniel C. Smith, pay tribute to exceptional volunteer leaders whose vital service and contributions help shape the future of the university at the highest levels.
“Philanthropic support in all forms is a vital cornerstone to building a great and lasting public university, and each of the volunteer leaders being honored this year share a remarkable commitment to Indiana University,” said McRobbie. “Their extraordinary efforts have benefited an array programs, schools, and campuses across the university. The generosity, passion, and leadership of our honorees speak to the truest IU traditions of excellence and service, and we are deeply indebted to each of them.”
“In each of these volunteer leaders we see an uncommon commitment to Indiana University,” said McRobbie. “A diversity of programs, schools, and campuses have benefited from their extraordinary efforts. They have strengthened and renewed our principal programs while bringing us to the leading edge of research and innovation.”
Honorees received one of three awards for exceptional volunteers and friends of Indiana University: the Cornerstone, Keystone, and Herman B Wells Visionary Awards. Each year nominations are solicited from the Indiana University community. A committee of representatives from IUPUI, Bloomington, and regional campuses selects the recipients.
“These philanthropic pioneers have made service to Indiana University a lifelong mission,” Smith said. “Their contributions are felt in every corner of this university—shaping our community, supporting our students, promoting our research—today and for years to come. Volunteerism at this level is what keeps us moving forward—excelling, achieving, and, ultimately, advancing IU.”
Mary Beth Gadus and Franklin D. Schurz Jr., received the Cornerstone Award, which recognizes those individuals whose partnership and volunteer involvement has been instrumental in the success of a single Indiana University philanthropic initiative for a campus, program, or school.
A cancer survivor, Mary Beth Gadus has taken a leadership role in fundraising efforts to support Indiana University’s cancer research. In 2008, her realization that promising avenues for research remain closed due to lack of funding led her to found 100 Voices of Hope. The initiative aims to raise $100,000 each year to fund a new breast cancer research project at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. Over four years, 100 Voices of Hope generated nearly 1,000 gifts, totaling more than half a million dollars, and brought more than 60 new donors to the IU Foundation. One project initially funded by 100 Voices of Hope subsequently secured a $400,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute. An active member of the IU Simon Cancer Center development board, Gadus has also played an integral role in fundraising events for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center.
For more than 30 years, Franklin D. Schurz Jr., has been instrumental to the extraordinary growth of Indiana University’s South Bend campus. His crowning legacy is the Opportunity Scholarship, which he established in 2003 to address low enrollment and retention rates among Hispanic and African-American students. This endowed scholarship fund, one of South Bend’s largest, is awarded based on academic achievement and financial need and, to date, has benefited more than 65 students. His volunteer activities for the campus have spanned decades and include serving on every chancellor’s advisory board since the early 1980s, contributing to the campus’s land-acquisition efforts, and cultivating other major donors in the community. Formerly president of Schurz Communications, Inc., a South Bend-based media-holding company, Schurz has worked through the years to increase IU South Bend’s visibility in the community.
The Keystone Award, which recognizes those individuals who have shown exemplary volunteer leadership through multiple Indiana University fundraising campaigns, was presented to John M. Burnett and Dale Ellen Leff.
John M. Burnett has led the way in transforming the Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) campus. His fundraising efforts were vital to the completion of the Columbus Learning Center, which houses—among many offices and classrooms—the IUPUC Center for Teaching and Learning. Spearheading a community effort that raised $2.5M, Burnett assisted President McRobbie in establishing the IU Center for Art & Design in Columbus. A member of the IUPUC Board of Advisors and chair of the Campus of the Future committee, he has also played a central role in multiple fundraising initiatives that helped make possible the construction of the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence and the Computational Analysis Simulation & Engineering Lab, as well as a multifaceted enhancement of IUPUC’s Division of Nursing. Burnett has been instrumental in developing the campus’s master plan and will serve on the committee for its upcoming comprehensive campaign, slated to launch in 2013.
Dale Ellen Leff is a tireless volunteer leader for Indiana University and a pioneer in women’s philanthropy. As founding co-chair, with First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie, of the IU Foundation’s Women’s Philanthropy Council (WPC), Leff has brought to fruition her decades of work in cultivating women’s increasingly important role in fundraising and volunteerism for the university. A 2011 recipient of a CASE Circle of Excellence award, the WPC recently conferred more than $100,000 in grant monies to eight IU organizations, sponsoring initiatives ranging from career development to student philanthropy. Leff, a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, has remained deeply involved in organizations that support such Bloomington hallmarks as the Kinsey Institute and the Jacobs School of Music. In the mid-1990s, she endowed the Peg Brand Chair in Gender Studies, paving the way for women to take on a more prominent role in philanthropic initiatives across the university.
Herman B Wells Visionary Award
Alan B. Gilman received the Herman B Wells Visionary Award, which recognizes those whose lifetime volunteer commitment to Indiana University reveals a deep understanding of the power of philanthropy to shape the future of the institution and a determination to see that future realized.
Gilman’s service to the university is remarkable for both its length and scope. During his 60 years as an Indiana University alumnus, he has taken on leadership roles that benefit every facet of the university. One of the first members appointed to the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board, Gilman also contributed decades of service to the Kelley School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and the IU Foundation Board of Directors. A recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, Gilman—with his wife, Phyllis, also an IU graduate—has supported IU libraries and athletics, the IU Arts Museum, the Well House Society, and the IU Alumni Association. Gilman’s wide-ranging efforts to enhance academic excellence at IU include establishing the Gilman-Benns Chair in the Department of History, the Gilman-Brater Chair in the School of Medicine, the Gilman-Mee Fellowship in the Kelley School of Business, and the Phyllis Gilman Library Endowment.
Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation is headquartered in Bloomington and Indianapolis and partners with development offices on every IU campus. The Foundation today oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country, with a market value of nearly $1.5 billion. In fiscal year 2012, IU received $347.9 million in support from the private sector, the second highest total in the history of the university. IU consistently ranks among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.