We were pleased to welcome two new members to the Board of Visitors this month, both alumni of our master’s degree program. Erdal Yildirim, M.A. ‘05, is President of the Koç Foundation based in Istanbul, Turkey, and Derrick Feldmann, M.A. ‘04, is founder of Achieve, a dynamic research and marketing agency for causes, based in Indianapolis. And we congratulate Board of Visitors member Cindy Simon Skjodt on her recent nomination by President Obama to be a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
In August the school hosted Wojciech Kaczmarczyk, Poland’s Secretary of State at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister and Government Plenipotentiary for Civil Society and Equal Treatment. Mr. Kaczmarczyk has been tasked with proposing a national service program for Poland. We were all treated to an informative and enlightening series of conversations led by Professor Les Lenkowsky, former CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
In addition to attending various retreats to mark the beginning of a new academic year, I was pleased to meet with former Board of Visitors member and current adjunct faculty member Jim Morris, as well as current Board of Visitors member Cindy Simon Skojdt. I was also pleased to meet Fred Klipsch and Carol D’Amico together with Professor Lenkowsky. I also learned more about affiliate faculty member Bill Schneider’s fascinating work on humanitarianism and the role of philanthropy in the history of medicine. And thanks to Board of Visitors member Craig Leach, The Fund Raising School recently presented to the president, deans and chief development officers of Stony Brook University.
In late August, I met with John List, an eminent Economist based at the University of Chicago, who will be joining forces with us as the Visiting Robert F. Hartsook Chair in Fundraising. John has run the Science of Philanthropy Initiative there, and we will now co-host the Science of Philanthropy conference alternately in Chicago and Indianapolis. John is committed to doing a lecture in January in Miami at our Leadership Roundtable, and to welcoming our students and faculty to Chicago for seminars and consultations. We are delighted with this new development.
I am also pleased to share that Dr. Kathi Badertscher will serve as a standing member of our faculty and Director of the Master’s Program. She served in these roles in a visiting capacity in the previous academic year and did an exemplary job in teaching, guiding our students and faculty in curricular issues, leading our efforts to better collaborate with SPEA at the graduate level, and generally advancing our scholarly community.
We are pleased to announce two new scholarship opportunities for our students made possible by generous donors. The school has received a gift of $100,000 toward scholarships for international learning opportunities. And The David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Leadership & Giving will be presented during next month’s board meeting to one undergraduate and one graduate winner, who will each receive a $2,500 prize for a traveling scholarship of nonprofit exploration and $1,800 to grant to 1-3 nonprofits.
When I spent a day with the Johns Hopkins Medicine Philanthropy Institute to explore collaboration with their research-driven approach to medical fundraising, they were aware that we have a highly regarded alumna playing a leadership role at a major medical center in San Diego. Kate Wayne, M.A. ’07, is Director of Development for UC San Diego Health. Also this month, alumna and National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu, Ph.D. ‘12, served as the keynote speaker for the Indy Arts Kickoff.
The highlight of the month, however, was welcoming new and returning students to campus. At orientation we heard a wonderful range of stories that brought these talented individuals to us. We not only have national diversity as our graduate students hail from places ranging from Bloomington and Muncie to Alaska and Alabama, but we also have new students from Armenia, Iran, China, and Hungary, the last coming to us under the Fulbright Program.
We look forward to welcoming you to Indianapolis for our October 6-7 Board of Visitors meeting, and we hope you can arrive a bit early to join us Wednesday evening, October 4, for the Lake Distinguished Visitor Lecture by Alan Cooperman, the Pew Research Center’s director of religion research, who will discuss “The Rise of the Religiously Unaffiliated: Why a decline in American religion matters to everyone.”