Earlier this month we kicked off the IUPUI Faculty-Staff IMPACT Campaign with a special focus on fellowship and scholarship funding for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
The Faculty-Staff campaign is a year-long effort of the IMPACT Campaign, but we set a short-term goal to pick up the pace. We’ve challenged ourselves to raise at least $350,000 in the first three months and to have at least 900 participate with a donation of whatever size. This level of participation by our faculty and staff is ambitious, but not without precedent.
IUPUI historically has had very high employee participation in campaigns, and scholarships are particularly popular gifts because students are at the center of what we do.
Faculty and staff have been extraordinarily generous in giving to scholarships and fellowships because they want to help students overcome financial obstacles to earning the highest level of academic degree to which they may aspire. Scholarships, fellowships, and other support are key to helping more students stay in school, and graduate, who might otherwise have to withdraw or cut back on classes to work.
Many gifts to scholarships and fellowships by our faculty and staff memorialize parents or other people who have been significant in their lives.
Kathleen O’Connell, associate professor of illustration in our Herron School of Art and Design, created the Robert O’Connell Memorial Scholarship Endowment in memory of her father, who took her on trips to arts institutions and encouraged her educational and artistic goals.
Nicholas Georgakopoulos, a third-generation graduate from the Athens University School of Law, honors a family legacy with an endowed scholarship in memory of his father, Leonidas Georgakopoulos, who worked as a corporate and commercial attorney in Athens. His son went on to study law and finance at Harvard and taught at the University of Connecticut School of Law before coming to IUPUI.
Kate Duffy Sim was a senior lecturer in English at IUPUI until recently, but left a legacy for future students with the Alice Chandler Gockley and Gordon E. Gockley Memorial Scholarship for Study Abroad. Her cousins Alice, a librarian, and Gordon, a lover of gourmet food, were world travelers who had left their estate to her.
Bob White, a sociology professor and former dean of our School of Liberal Arts, funds the Barbara White Thoreson Scholarship with his wife, Terry, and family members and friends. Each year, a liberal arts major who wants to be a teacher, receives the scholarship, created in memory of Bob’s sister, Barbara, who had been a teacher.
Larry Such, a retired employee from Campus Facilities Services, pledged an estate gift through the employee campaign. His entire estate will be used to endow a scholarship at the Kelley School of Business. Larry worked nearly 30 years maintaining buildings on this campus, most recently the Business/SPEA Building.
Other faculty and staff have been inspired to make gifts in memory of students who touched their lives.
John J. Tilley, chair of our Department of Philosophy, funds the Sophia Prize. When the School of Liberal Arts presented the award for the first time in the spring of 2011, it was in honor of Jay David Myers, a gifted and promising IUPUI undergraduate philosophy major, who died suddenly in 2009.
Karen Kovacik, Indiana's Poet Laureate and English professor in the School of Liberal Arts, created the annual Marianne Hedges Poetry Prize, in memory of a former student who pushed her to excel as a teacher.
Many other faculty and staff are inspired to give to such campuswide efforts as the Bepko Scholars and Fellows Program, which has brought so many talented students to campus, as well as to departmental scholarships and fellowships.
So far, 4,980 faculty, staff, and retirees have contributed more than $16 million to the overall IMPACT Campaign—very impressive!
My thanks to Sherry Queener, director of the IUPUI Graduate Office, and Chris Foley, Director of Admissions, cochairs of the IUPUI Faculty-Staff IMPACT Campaign.