We began the month with a Global Philanthropy Environment Index workshop with expert contributors from across Europe at the IU Berlin Gateway. Students in our Berlin study abroad course were able to join us at the BMW Foundation for a ceremonial launch of the Index that included concluding remarks by board member Derrick Feldmann.
We also have Derrick to thank for introducing us to the BMW Foundation and for joining me in productive meetings with key leaders in German philanthropy, including Felix Oldenburg of the Association of German Foundations, Michael Alberg-Seberich of Beyond Philanthropy, Rupert Graf Strachwitz of the Maecenata Institut, and former WPI Council member Lisa Witter of Apolitical.
In Vienna, I had the pleasure of visiting with Gunther Lutschinger of the Austrian Fundraising Association and IU M.P.A. alumna Ruth Gabler of the Austrian Fulbright Association.
Back in Indianapolis, we celebrated the 2018 Partners in Philanthropy Award Winners, including board member Cindy Simon Skjodt, who received the Herman B. Wells Visionary Award. Lacy and Patricia Johnson, who have played a key role in creating and supporting the Mays Institute on Diverse Philanthropy, received the Cornerstone Award.
We also welcomed six new members to the Board of Visitors: Perry Hines, Linda Friedlander, Rose Mays, Sally Bindley Millman, Maria Quintana, and Nicole Robinson. A press release will be going out as we get closer to the beginning of the academic year.
Prior to the official launch of Giving USA, Chicago-based board member Robinson hosted board member Caren Yanis, Bruce Boyd of Arabella and me at the Greater Chicago Food Depository for an engaging discussion about developments at the school. After the announcement that U.S. giving in 2017 had surpassed $400 billion for the first time, I had the pleasure of visiting with Rosso Medal winner Edith Falk, Chicago Council on Global Affairs Fellow John Slocum, and former board chair Don Campbell.
The school enjoyed a visit from Ingrid Srinath, director of the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at the liberal arts-inspired Ashoka University India. We were also pleased to help host the newest cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellows from across Africa and a sold-out Leadership Roundtable organized by The Fund Raising School.