Friday’s campaign launch event included appearances by accomplished alumni, including (from left) Francesca Zappia ’15, published author of young-adult novel Made You Up; Linda Dillman ’76, chief information officer for QVC; Jim Hurrell ’84, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research; and Faustin and Euphrasie N’Tala, who lead education initiatives in their home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gift from local developer and wife will fund creation of poverty institute
The University of Indianapolis launched the public phase of a $50 million comprehensive campaign Friday night with an event at the Indianapolis Museum of Art that brought together more than a thousand members of the UIndy community and included the announcement of a major gift to establish a new interdisciplinary institute for the study of poverty.
The Gene and Mary Ann Zink Poverty Institute will be active in addressing the pressing public and social issues surrounding poverty while creating formative experiential learning opportunities for students. The funding will endow scholarships, faculty-guided undergraduate and graduate research opportunities, interdisciplinary study, special events, visiting speakers and faculty development activities.
“The Zinks have been vital partners with the university since the earliest conversations about our strategic plan, and their gift is an especially fitting way to introduce the Campaign for the University of Indianapolis,” said Robert Manuel, university president. “This interdisciplinary center will convene talent from across the country to study and create interventions that counter the effects of poverty in our communities. In many ways, this is the future model that connects problems in the world with the education and research taking place inside universities.”
Zink is Chairman and CEO of Strategic Capital Partners, the real estate and development firm that has partnered with the university in developing the four-story UIndy Health Pavilion, which opened this fall to house the university’s allied health programs, and Greyhound Village, a 480-bed student apartment complex that will open in 2016.
“Mary Ann and I have been inspired by the vision of the university in responding to the important problems and questions facing our world,” Zink said. “We look forward to seeing that vision unfold.”
The comprehensive campaign, which carries the theme “UIndy Starts With You,” will address the needs and opportunities identified in the university’s Vision 2030 strategic planning process, which Manuel initiated shortly after his 2012 arrival at UIndy to gather input from alumni, students, faculty, staff and the broader community.
The campaign is chaired by Yvonne Shaheen, Indianapolis civic leader, philanthropist and university trustee. Shaheen became one of the campaign’s most important supporters earlier this year with a $5 million endowment to fund UIndy’s liberal arts, fine arts and science programs, now known as the Riad and Yvonne Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences.
Shaheen, the retired CEO and president of Long Electric Co., joined the Board of Trustees in 1992 and looks back with pride on the university’s progress.
“My long association with this institution, knowing its history, values and work ethic, has motivated me to invest myself in its growing strength and influence,” said Shaheen, herself a first-generation college student who in part credits her liberal arts preparation for her success as a business owner. “Success breeds success, and I know we have a great many successes ahead of us. There are many people out there who will consider it an honor to support the work of this university and the impact it is making. ”
The key focus areas of the Campaign for the University of Indianapolis include:
- For students – support for scholarships, study abroad, faculty-guided research opportunities and paid internships through UIndy’s Professional Edge Center;
- For faculty and academic excellence – endowed faculty chairs, interdisciplinary programming opportunities and research and travel funds;
- For the campus and community – capital projects, technology upgrades and neighborhood development initiatives that enhance the educational experience while also improving quality of life in the surrounding area, fulfilling the university’s role as a community anchor; and
- For the future – investment in transformational opportunities that support the growth and quality of the university, as well as further investment in established programs that will allow them to achieve a higher degree of excellence.
Although the UIndy campus has been transformed physically over the past year by such projects as the establishment of the Health Pavilion, the renovation of Krannert Memorial Library, new athletic fields and the ongoing construction of the 480-bed Greyhound Village student apartments, Manuel said the campaign will support the university’s continuing dedication to the values that have guided it since its founding in 1902.
“UIndy will remain a university committed to the faculty-student bond, the liberal arts foundation, applied learning, professional development, spiritual growth for students of all faith traditions and our longtime motto of ‘Education for Service,’” Manuel said. “Our aim is to embrace the qualities that make the university special, and to take those traditional strengths into the future and fully realize the value we provide to our students, the community and our city, nation and world.”
More information about the Campaign for the University of Indianapolis is available at campaign.uindy.edu.
Gathering near a large timeline of UIndy history Friday at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, students chat while awaiting the public launch of the Campaign for the University of Indianapolis. The university will mark its 113th anniversary Tuesday.