Dean's Update

Dean Amir Pasic

The first week of April included our board meeting as well as the Stead Chair on International Philanthropy Lecture Series by Professor Helmut K. Anheier of the Hertie School of Government in Berlin. The Stead Lecture covered the rapid expansion of international civil society in the twentieth century and the more recent challenges emerging to its continued vitality, mostly through restrictive laws in a growing number of countries. Professor Anheier was able to join us for our board meeting as well during which we heard from our students, approved the new guidelines for the Board of Visitors, had vigorous discussions in our new task force arrangements, heard how Giving USA is produced and used, and how our campaign is progressing. Additionally, outgoing Board of Visitors members (Irene McCutchen, Ellen Remmer, Dan Yates, and Ted Grossnickle) were honored at the April meeting.

The following week I attended the annual meeting of the Council on McCutchen Irene BillFoundations in Washington D.C. where I participated in discussions on a wide range of philanthropic topics, with a strong emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I returned to Indianapolis to join our campus community for the Spirit of Philanthropy Luncheon, a special occasion during which we celebrated the transformative generosity of Irene and Bill McCutchen to our school. We also welcomed our Alumni Board who convened at the school to discuss ways we can engage our alumni in our efforts to support our students.

New York was next where I had the pleasure of meeting with David Morse of the Atlantic Philanthropies, Will Miller of the Wallace Foundation, Chris Cardona of the Ford Foundation, Florence Davis of the Starr Foundation, and a new prospective board member.

As we move through the busy final weeks of the semester, students, faculty, staff, and alumni also had the opportunity to participate in an event at Indy Reads where I interviewed Derrick Feldmann, founder and president of Achieve and M.A. ’01, about his new book, Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change

We also mark academic distinctions during this season and at the Chancellor’s Academic Convocation we celebrated professors Dwight Burlingame, Genevieve Shaker, and senior John Ferguson who was recognized as a Chancellor’s Scholar. Additional students and alumni were honored with prestigious awards this spring. Please read more in the Academic Programs’ recap.


Additional events:

April 19Employee Appreciation Luncheon

April 23Service Day with the Dean at Indy Urban Acres-students and staff joined Dean Pasic and his family to volunteer at this local organization.

Service Day with the Dean

April 26—“Building a Better World Now: Cooperatives. The Better Business Model” presented by Howard Brodsky, co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of CCA Global Partners, one of the largest cooperatives in the United States.

April 28Open house at Launch Cause, Indiana's first co-working space dedicated to nonprofits; the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is the exclusive education partner/sponsor for this year.

April 29Arthur C. Frantzreb Lecture featuring special guest John List at the Association of Fundraising Professionals' (AFP-IN) spring conference.

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News You Can Use


  • April 30-May 7, Finals
  • 2, Last day of classes
  • 7, Commencement Reception
  • 8, Commencement
  • 14-28, Berlin study abroad course
  • 19, Vanguard Charitable research rollout – Chicago, IL
  • 24, WPI report release - Giving to Women and Girls: Who Gives and Why

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Academic Programs

March 28-29David Allison, associate director for curatorial affairs, and Bonnie Campbell Lilienfeld, assistant director for curatorial affairs, at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., visited our school and the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. The museum will open a new permanent exhibition, Giving in America, for which Bonnie is currently the acting curator, on Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2016, with a focus on the broad history of giving and philanthropy. The endowed position of curator was recently posted. David and Bonnie visited with faculty, staff and students; gave a presentation about the new exhibition; and shared information about the position description. Their visit particularly focused on how they might reach the best candidates for this new position. In their words, “we think some of the best candidates in the country have probably gone through your program.”

March 31-April 1—Emerging Research on Community Foundations and Philanthropy in the U.S. and Beyond:  A Workshop at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

The workshop included four panels made up of Lilly Family School of Philanthropy faculty and staff as well as visitors. It was convened by Mark Sidel, who is currently serving in the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Visiting Chair on Community Foundations at the school.

April 6—IUPUI Career Fair

Organized by the Career Services Council, this year’s event featured over 80 employers with internship, part-time, and full-time employment opportunities. It was open to students of any major and any year in school.

April 12—IU Day Networking with students, alumni, and community members

April 12—Ian’s Welcome Home Party

Ian Irmatinger Salas, M.A. ’16, relayed an overview of his recent trip to Ghana with UBELONG Expedition’s “Ghana: Child Labor Through the Lens.” Hear about all of his adventures; check out his blog!

April 12—From Streets to Charities: Explaining Altruistic Giving to the Poor in Europe with Dr. Sebastian Koos

April 14— Workshop in Multidisciplinary Philanthropic Studies (WIMPS)

  • "Free Gifts Also Matter: Effects of Giving on Happiness, Social Connection, and Donations" presented by: Sara Konrath, assistant professor of philanthropic studies; Ruth Hansen and Meng-Han Ho, Ph.D. students.

April 18Appreciation breakfast for external partners (hosts of graduate assistants (GAs) and interns

April 19P330: Celebrity Philanthropy course hosted special guest Lyn St. James, retired IndyCar driver and first woman to win the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award Philanthropist, advocate for women in motorsports, and board member of the Women’s Sports Foundation.

April 21Jefferson Awards Reception-On behalf of the school, Pamela Clark presented Decatur High School with a $500 grant (via a large mock check).

April 23Service Day with the Dean at Indy Urban Acres.

April 26Workshop in Multidisciplinary Philanthropic Studies (WIMPS)

“Using Imagination and Memory to Increase Willingness to Help Others and Charitable Donations” presented by Brendan Gaesser, postdoctoral researcher from Boston College.

April 26P330: Celebrity Philanthropy course-final class held a closing celebration featuring a screening of student-produced public service announcements and comments from our charity partners, Bring Change 2 Mind, Outrun the Sun, and Kappa Delta Pi.

They were also joined by special guest Brian Dameris, vice president of The Charity Network.

Celebrity Philanthropy class



Women’s Leadership Awards

  • Taylor Dooley, B.A. ‘16

March 30—Seventeen women were honored at the 19th annual IUPUI Women's Leadership Awards program as the campus wrapped up Women's History Month with a celebration of the 2016 theme "Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government."

Plater Medallion

April 12—The William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion has been established to recognize students who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to their communities Plater Medallionduring their years as an IUPUI student. The medallion is named in honor of IUPUI’s former Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties from 1988 to 2006, Dr. William Plater, a strong advocate of civic engagement during his career.

Students who are awarded the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion will have exhibited personal development, intellectual growth, and positive community impact as a result of their civic engagement experiences. Recipients are expected to have engaged in a variety of activities demonstrating depth and diversity of commitment in serving their communities, while making a significant investment to at least one community experience over time.

Bachelor’s Degree:

  • Stephanie Fulk, B.A. ‘16
  • Brittany Florentine, B.A. ‘16

Master’s and Professional Degree:

  • Adrienne Nordman, M.A. ‘16

Elite 50

Elite 50April 13—The purpose of the Elite 50 is to recognize and reward achievement outside the classroom among IUPUI’s 8,100 graduate and professional student population. The Elite 50 represent the top one half of one percent of the graduate and professional student body at IUPUI. Since awards for academic accomplishments already exist, the Elite 50 will mainly focus on achievements outside of the classroom.

The Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) hosted the 2nd Annual Elite 50 Celebration Dinner. Elite 50 is modeled after IUPUI’s traditional Undergraduate Top 100 Outstanding Students Recognition Dinner. But Elite 50 is open exclusively to graduate and professional students.

  • Le Yang, M.A. ‘16
  • Wyatt Jackson, M.A. ‘15
  • Melanie McKitrick, M.A. ‘11


Current Student Happenings

  • Christiana Atibil, Ph.D. student, has accepted a senior position with the Ghanaian government.
  • Ruth Hansen, Ph.D. student, will be joining University of Wisconsin Whitewater as lecturer (fall 2016), to convert to an assistant professor (fall 2018) contingent on completing the doctoral program within two years.

Alumni Happenings

  • Heng Qu, Ph.D. ’16, will be joining the faculty the Bush School at Texas A&M.
  • Elizabeth Dale, Ph.D. ’16, has already joined the faculty at Seattle University while completing her dissertation. 
  • Jenna Wachtmann, M.A. '15, is a program officer with Ball Brothers Foundation in Muncie, IN and a frequent blogger for Exponent Philanthropy (formerly Association of Small Foundations); she was recently published.  
  • Ruth Bernstein, M.A. '09, accepted a new role as assistant professor, nonprofit studies, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Tacoma.
  • Colton Strawser, B.A. '15, recently started as a program officer at the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County in Indiana.

April 18Derrick Feldmann, M.A. ‘01, recently released his book Social Movements for Good- How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change. The school, Achieve, and Indy Reads co-hosted a conversation with him followed by a networking reception. Derrick will also serve as the keynote speaker at commencement on May 8.

The event was open to the public and hosted at Indy Reads, which is run by another one of the school's alumni. Alyssa Starr Newerth, M.A. ‘10, serves as their deputy director.

Derrick Feldmann’s company, Achieve, is preparing to release their annual Millennial Impact Report at this year's MCON, an in-person and live-streamed conference organized by Feldmann, hosted at National Geographic's Headquarters in Washington D.C. this June. You can register and follow updates of the conference here. 


Faculty Activities, Awards, and Publications

April 2Dwight Burlingame spoke at the Indiana Key Club annual convention in Muncie, IN.

Greg Witkowski received a New Frontiers grant to fund a symposium “Philanthropy and Civic Engagement: Imagining Faith through Practice”—to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana on September 1- 2, 2016. The symposium will foster international interdisciplinary collaboration that can develop a stronger research agenda related to Muslim philanthropy and civil society. It will also spotlight critically needed research that can better inform the public, media and political discourse related to Muslims, Islam and Muslim philanthropy. The project has been spearheaded by Shariq Siddiqui, a graduate of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s doctoral program, and includes collaboration with Scott Alexander, a scholar at the University of Notre Dame. 

Beth Gazley, Ph.D., was promoted to full professor effective July 1. She is currently an associate professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and an affiliate faculty member at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

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Women's Philanthropy Institute

At the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Dr. Debra Mesch, director, and Andrea Pactor, associate director, shared research about gender and philanthropy in a variety of settings during the month of April. For the second year in a row, Andrea Pactor moderated a panel discussion for the Miss Halls’ School Philanthropic Round Table in New York City. This 20th anniversary celebration of the Round Table, Vision 20/20, featured WPI Council Chair Trish Jackson, Jennifer Buffett of the NoVo Foundation, and four additional women philanthropic leaders. 

April 11—Debra Mesch joined IU First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie for a lively and engaging lunch conversation at the home of Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Board of Visitors member Cindy Simon Skjodt with a group of women with Indiana University ties, including IU Trustee MaryEllen Bishop

Later in the month Dr. Mesch and Dr. Una Osili, the school’s director of research, presented a webinar for a select group of the Giving Pledge’s women and girls affinity group and members of the Maverick Collection. The webinar featured a sneak preview of the final phase of research from the first Gates Foundation grant on who supports causes for women and girls and why. The Gates Foundation team was pleased with the outcome of the presentation. They reported, “The research findings were fascinating, the polls worked really well and were engaging, and  it was great to get so many strong questions (which you handled beautifully) and have some dialogue.” WPI is grateful to the Gates Foundation team for suggesting the opportunity to share our research with this committed group of donors.

Finally, Andrea Pactor presented the keynote address at the Soroptimist North Atlantic Region conference in Saratoga Springs, NY at the end of the month. Soroptimist is a women’s service club, founded in 1921, which focuses on supporting women and girls at the grassroots level.

Looking Ahead

May 24—WPI report release - Giving to Women and Girls:  Who Gives and Why.

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Lake Institute on Faith & Giving

March 30–April 1Bill Enright presented on behalf of Lake Institute at the Stepping into Stewardship Conference hosted by the United Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ) in Orlando, FL.

April 18-21David King, Melissa Spas, and Phil Jamieson led a four-day Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising course in partnership with Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

April 30Melissa Spas and Phil Jamieson led a Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity seminar for the United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis & Tennessee Conferences in Nashville, TN. This is day three of this three-day serial offering.

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April 1Dr. Una Osili, director of research, traveled to Tampa, FL to present her research on the Nigerian Civil War to the economics department at the University of Southern Florida.

April 10Dr. Una Osili traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Council on Foundations conference titled, “The Future of Philanthropy: Is it a Brave New World?” Dr. Osili presented on new models of philanthropy and how the sector is evolving.  

April 18Dr. Una Osili traveled to Washington, D.C. to present to the Association of American Universities (AAU) Partners 2016 spring meeting. Dr. Osili provided a picture of the philanthropic landscape in her session, “The Art and Science of Philanthropy.” 

April 26Dr. Una Osili traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Philanthropic Partnerships Discussion hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Looking ahead

May 19—The research department will partner with Vanguard Charitable to release a new study on charitable giving and volunteering within families. Dean Amir Pasic and Dr. Una Osili will participate in a rollout event in Chicago.

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April 12-13—The Alumni Board convened at University Hall for their spring two-day meeting. Their fall meeting is scheduled for October 6-7, 2016 where they will join the Board of Visitors for several events and activities, including adding their expertise and input on the newly created task forces.

April 12—marked Indiana University’s first annual day of giving with the launch of IU Day. In just one day IU raised $11.2 million from 5,500 donors. The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy participated in this one-day event by hosting our own crowd-funding campaign to raise support for two undergraduate scholarships and completed our campaign successfully coming in at 108% of our goal. We came in #7 on the IU Leaderboard and earned part of a special match thanks to votes from all of our supporters on IU Day. Total raised for the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy on IU Day = $14,912!

April 13Irene and Bill McCutchen were recognized at IUPUI’s annual Spirit of Philanthropy luncheon as the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy honorees. Irene and Bill were recognized for their generous support of the endowment of the Eugene R. Tempel Deanship at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. This tremendous gift will help the school attract future deans of the highest caliber, and it will allow them to quickly and innovatively meet challenges, seize opportunities, and fulfill the mission of the school to improve philanthropy to improve the world. Katie Prine, associate director of development, served as co-chair for the event.

April 18—the development office and student services held an appreciation breakfast to acknowledge our external partners that host student interns and graduate assistants. Our guest speaker Rebecca Buxton, M.A. ’16, spoke about the positive impact that her graduate assistant with the Indiana Parkinson Foundation has had on gaining hands-on experience.

Alumni Happenings-please see above in Academic Programs summary

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The release of the first quarterly update of the Human Needs Index by our school and our partners at The Salvation Army national headquarters received excellent coverage by outlets including USA Today (which was picked up by many other outlets nationwide), The Wall Street Journal, The Seattle Times, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Board Member Maureen Hackett’s founding of the Mental Health Channel was featured in a Houston Chronicle opinion article.

Les Lenkowsky was quoted in a Washington Post article about Donald Trump’s philanthropy, and his quotes were picked up by several other news outlets, including The New Yorker, People, Yahoo! News, the Chicago Tribune, and The NonProfit Quarterly, and many other outlets.

A column in The Huffington Post commented on a philanthropy discussion at Miss Hall’s School moderated by Andrea Pactor.

A Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the top 400 donors reported by the IRS quoted Una Osili.

Philanthropy magazine’s spring 2016 issue features a review of the book Billion Dollar Ball by Les Lenkowsky.

The Muncie Star-Press and Inside Indiana Business highlighted B.A. degree alumnus Colton Strawser’s hiring as a program officer at the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County.

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