Charles F. “Chuck” Feeney, the international business leader and philanthropist who made a fortune worth billions and quietly gave it all away, is the inaugural recipient of a prestigious new award recognizing global generosity.
Feeney is the first person to receive the Stead Medal in International Philanthropy awarded by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The medal will be awarded to people who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership in all aspects of international philanthropy and who have worked to sustain philanthropy as a globally significant force for improving communities, institutions and people.
The co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers who for years gave anonymously through his foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, has made transformational grants totaling more than $7 billion to bring about lasting change in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people around the world. Established as a limited-life foundation, Atlantic will complete its grant making in 2016.
Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presented the Stead Medal to Feeney. “Philanthropy in the 21st century transcends national boundaries, as do the most pressing needs donors seek to address. Chuck Feeney has long been a visionary in giving across borders and is one of the truly great international philanthropists of our time,” McRobbie said. “In fact, there are few philanthropists in the world who can rival his enormous transformational impact, which is evident around the globe.”
Millions of people around the world have benefitted from programs that Atlantic and Feeney have supported in aging, children and youth services, health and reconciliation and human rights. Many of these efforts are focused in Australia, Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Vietnam.
“I am humbled by this award. The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy represents the first and foremost university level institution dedicated to the study of philanthropy,” Feeney said. “We are pleased to be engaged with them in spreading the knowledge and need of worldwide philanthropy and my philosophy of ‘Giving While Living.’”
Atlantic’s support has promoted reconciliation and peace in Northern Ireland and South Africa, transformed the design and delivery of services for children, older adults and people with disabilities in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and strengthened and expanded higher education, university infrastructure and research in both regions. The foundation’s funding in Vietnam has revamped and revitalized health care facilities and practices, as well as bringing a world-class professional education to higher education students. In Australia, Atlantic has played a significant role in advancing research and development in information technology and biotechnology, higher education and cancer research.
“Chuck Feeney is the very model of a global citizen and he has enormous impact internationally, making him the ideal inaugural recipient of the Stead Medal in International Philanthropy,” said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “The elevation of human dignity that his efforts have enabled will spur movement forward, leading to the expansion and greater effectiveness of international philanthropy. He has set the bar high for all those who come after.”
“The Atlantic Philanthropies support for our early efforts to pioneer the field of Philanthropic Studies, launch innovative, translational research to serve the sector, and develop faculty and academic programs helped make it possible for Indiana University to create the world’s first school dedicated to teaching and research about philanthropy,” Pasic continued. “Further, Atlantic’s support of unique educational programs resulted in the preparation of students who are now national and international leaders in philanthropy.”
The Stead Medal in International Philanthropy was created in honor of international corporate turnaround expert Jerre Stead’s outstanding career as a philanthropist and his pursuit of developing the next generation of philanthropic leaders. Stead is chairman and CEO of IHS, Inc. a global information and insight services company that employs more than 8,800 people in 32 countries. He has served as chairman and/or CEO of seven major national and international corporations; in addition to IHS they include AT&T Global Business Communications Systems, AT&T Global Information Solutions, NCR Japan, Square D Corporation, Ingram Micro and Legent Corporation.
Committed to sharing his time and talent with others, Stead has served on scores of corporate and nonprofit boards, including the Banner Alzheimer's Institute, the Garrett Evangelical Seminary and the Salk Institute, as well as the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s board of visitors.
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has been teaching and learning actively about philanthropy in more than 40 countries around the world since its founding in 1987. Its international partnerships, teaching and research have grown exponentially in recent years. Follow us on Twitter @IUPhilanthropy or “Like” us on Facebook.