Dean's Update

Dean Amir Pasic

August began with a series of strategic discussions at the school, campus, and university levels, and concluded with the return of students and their energy to our campus. Among others we welcomed bright achievers from the Midwest focused on careers in university advancement, a Fulbright Scholar from Hungary, an executive master’s student who runs a large local performing arts organization, and a Ph.D. student who helped run an educational program at Beijing Normal University. As in any great educational institution, a key part of our students’ education depends on what they learn from each other. And I think there is a wealth of opportunity based on the variety of interesting paths our students have taken in coming to us.

The past month also took me to Kansas City, where I visited with the Hall Family Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, and our partners at U.S. Trust. In Indianapolis, we enjoyed the visit of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute Council, who were welcomed by First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie at the Lilly House. It was a spirited gathering of exceptionally talented and dedicated leaders in the sector—a testament to the leadership of our Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair, Deb Mesch. We were also visited by Dr. Fahad Alzumai from the Nohoudh Trust in Kuwait, who is keen for us to engage with him on a series of projects that would improve philanthropy in the Middle East and beyond.

Chuck and Helga FeeneyThanks to Jerre Stead of our Board of Visitors, our school participated in orchestrating a truly historical occasion on August 24 in San Francisco. Founding Dean Emeritus Gene Tempel joined President McRobbie and me in recognizing Chuck Feeney as the inaugural Stead Medal in International Philanthropy recipient. Mr. Feeney was for many years the anonymous funder and founder of the Atlantic Philanthropies that gave over $7 billion around the world as it promoted the notion of “giving while living,” the inspiration for the Giving Pledge started by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates. We were pleased that Mr. Feeney’s family and friends, including former Board of Visitors member Ray Handlan, were able to join in the award ceremony. As Mr. Feeney remarked “My cup runneth over,” I believe we witnessed an important moment for philanthropy and for the school.  

I’m saddened to share that our former colleague and a former leader of Conner Prairie and the national museum scene, Pauline "Polly" Jontz Lennon, passed away recently. In her “retirement,” Polly served as an interim executive for several philanthropy institutions, including interim director of development and communications at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. A recipient of our Henry A. Rosso Medal in 2002, she was an inspiring leader and role model.

As we look to our meeting in a few weeks, we will be pleased to welcome our newest board member, Rebecca Lilly Brooks of Rye, NY. We are thrilled to have her join our community as she brings a vital set of skills and a deep dedication to our school.

I am looking forward to seeing you September 24. We will have some guests joining us and a speaker who will engage our students and you in a scholarship competition. And, of course, we look forward to showing off University Hall, our new building.

Warm regards,


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Academic Programs

Undergraduate Internship Update

Our B.A. degree requires all students to complete an internship in a nonprofit organization or other entity with a social mission. In August, seven B.A. students successfully completed their internships in local nonprofit organizations. They held a range of responsibilities and made strong contributions while applying their knowledge of Philanthropic Studies and learning from professionals in the field. Additionally, one student, Taylor Dooley, interned under B.A. 2015 graduate Caily Wolma, who is the Individual Giving and Research Associate at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO). Caily interned at ISO last year, and it led to her full time employment. She was delighted to give back to the program by hosting Taylor this year and hopes to continue doing so in the future. All internship host organizations reported that our students did very well, and all say they would host a Lilly Family School of Philanthropy intern again.

  • Jessica Reckerd-Hendricks County Community Foundation, Avon, IN
  • Taylor Dooley-Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis, IN
  • John Ferguson-The Patachou Foundation, Indianapolis, IN
  • Stephanie Fulk-Volunteers of America, Indianapolis, IN
  • Greg Lawrence-Intercollegiate YMCA, Indianapolis, IN
  • Hannah Myer-His Helping Hands, Vincennes, IN
  • Alexandra Reid-The Cabin Counseling & Resource Center, Zionsville, IN

August 17-20—A “Methods Boot Camp” conducted by Lehn Benjamin and Richard Steinberg provided first-year Ph.D. students with a basic introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods so that they can be informed consumers of academic research.

August 21—Graduate Students' Orientation

August 21—Graduate Students' Reception hosted by Dean Pasic

Faculty Activities, Awards, and Publications

Una Osili and Catherine Herrold have chapters in the recently-published Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy.

Chapter 18, Giving in Egypt: Evolving Charitable Traditions in a Changing Political Economy; Catherine Herrold.

Chapter 23, Giving in Indonesia, A Culture of Philanthropy Rooted in Islamic Tradition; Una Osili and Cagla Okten.

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International Programs

This semester International Programs welcomes M.A. student Qi Gao as a graduate assistant who will help the school further develop its international student recruitment.

August 19—The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy welcomed Professor Fahad Alzumai from Kuwait University Law School for a series of meetings about potential involvement with his upcoming comparative law study on endowments and non-profit organizations in the Muslim world.

August 27—The IUPUI Study Abroad Fair took place on campus and drew over 900 students. Ph.D. student Pat Janin and M.A. student Allison Mitchell promoted the May 2016 course Philanthropy and Public Policy: The German Context, led by Dr. Greg Witkowski.

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Women's Philanthropy Institute

2015 WPI Council MeetingAugust 11-12—The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) Council convened in Indianapolis for its annual in-person meeting. Ten Council members met in a conference room on the fifth floor of University Hall, our new building, and two joined via video conference. Trish Jackson, WPI Council Chair, and Kathleen Loehr, WPI Council member, led the discussion concentrating on developing a five-year strategic plan, WPI Vision 2020. The priorities that emerged from the meeting include awareness/positioning, fundraising, and human capital. Council members were also treated to a sneak preview of WomenGive 2015 presented by Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, lead researcher and professor. Prior to the meeting, Council members joined Indiana University’s First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie for a delicious dinner at the Lilly House.

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Lake Institute on Faith & Giving

August 17-20David King and Bill Enright led a four-day tailored course, Fundraising for Religious Professionals, at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary.

August 31-September 3Bill Enright and Marc Kirchoff led a four-day Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising course in partnership with Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology's Institute for Priests and Presbyterates in Saint Meinrad, IN.

Looking ahead:

October 15 (11:00 a.m.)—Distinguished Visitor lecture featuring Henry Timms, Executive Director of 92nd Street Y and founder of #GivingTuesday, will give a lecture at Christian Theological Seminary. The program is free and open to the public.

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August 4Dr. Una Osili, director of Research, presented to the Marts & Lundy staff conference in Chicago, IL. Dr. Osili presented on the Philanthropy Outlook, released in February 2015 in partnership with Marts & Lundy.

August 24Dr. Osili traveled to San Francisco, CA to participate in the event honoring Chuck Feeney with the inaugural Stead Medal in International Philanthropy.

Looking ahead:

September 18Drs. Una Osili and Debra Mesch will present to the Women Moving Millions Summit. They will share findings from research conducted on women’s giving funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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December 2014—The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy announced the creation of the Stead Medal in International Philanthropy which commemorates Jerre Stead’s outstanding career as a philanthropist and pursuit in developing the next generation of philanthropic leaders. The medal will be awarded every two years to one or more individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership in all aspects of international philanthropy and have worked to sustain philanthropy as a globally significant force for improving communities, institutions, and people. Stead Medal recipients are the epitome of philanthropy—love of humankind—and serve as our role models, inspiring us to follow in their footsteps. 

Stead MedalAugust 24Indiana University President McRobbie presented the inaugural Stead Medal in International Philanthropy to Chuck Feeney, founder of the Atlantic Philanthropies in San Francisco. Chuck was the first recipient of the Stead Medal for his work in establishing an international organization to distribute his fortune to good causes and projects around the world. Chuck Feeney is a uniquely visionary philanthropist, and he was honored to receive the award that bears the Stead name. It was an important moment for international philanthropy, and a milestone for the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

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Students, board members, faculty and staff all garnered key media coverage during August. Among the highlights:

Ellen RemmerBoard member Ellen Remmer was featured in The New York Times’ article on impact investing through a gender lens.

Our colleagues provided expert commentary twice this month for The Washington Post. David King was quoted in a story about how changes in religion and philanthropy are affecting transitions at Washington’s National Cathedral. Una Osili was quoted about online fundraising in an article on crowdfunding for humorous purposes.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about leadership transitions at the Carter Center quoted Dean Amir Pasic.

A Chicago Tribune story about the relationship between generosity and good health quoted Sara Konrath. It was picked up by regional media outlets nationwide.

A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article featured 2014 Lake Distinguished Visitor Valaida Fulwood.

Student Bob Hanrahan’s guest column in the Northwest Indiana Times highlights his plan to initiate high school philanthropy clubs in the region.

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