Announcement of a Gift from Irene Lilly McCutchen to the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

And Conferral of the School’s Medal of Distinction
Ashby Reading Room
Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library
IUPUI University Library
Indianapolis, Indiana
September 3, 2014

Welcome and Acknowledgements

Thank you, Gene (Tempel).

And thank you all for coming this afternoon to celebrate an important announcement that represents a major contribution that will truly advance and reinforce the mission of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy—the first school of its kind in the world.

Let me begin by recognizing a number of distinguished guests who are with us today.

I am delighted that we are joined this afternoon by the vice chair of the Indiana University Board of Trustees, MaryEllen Bishop, who also serves as vice chair of the Board of Visitors of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Would you join me in welcoming Trustee Bishop?

We are also joined by a number of additional members of the school’s Board of Visitors. I will ask them to stand as I introduce them and I ask that you hold your applause until all are introduced. With us are Melynne Klaus, who recently became the new board chair; Sonia Chen Arnold; Don Buttrey; Nasser Paydar; and Dan Yates.

Would you join me in welcoming them and thanking them for their service?

Also with us this afternoon is the former Chancellor of IUPUI and former Interim President of Indiana University Jerry Bepko. Please join me in welcoming Chancellor Emeritus Bepko.

I am also delighted that Lilly Endowment President Clay Robbins and Vice President Ace Yakey could be with us this afternoon. All of us at Indiana University remain deeply grateful for the endowment’s wide-ranging and generous philanthropic support for the university over many decades—support that continues to have a transformative impact on the university’s mission. Would you join me in welcoming Clay and Ace?

And finally, we are joined by representatives of one of the great philanthropic families in America and the family in whose honor the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is named. As Gene noted, our guests of honor today are: the great granddaughter of J.K. Lilly, Sr.: Irene Lilly McCutchen and her husband, Bill McCutchen, who formerly directed corporate communications at Eli Lilly; and Mrs. McCuthen’s brother and the great grandson of J.K. Lilly, Sr., Ted Lilly, who serves on the board of directors of Lilly Endowment and the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, and his wife, Debby. Would you join me in welcoming Renie and Bill McCutchen and Ted and Debby Lilly?

Announcing The McCutchen Gift

As the outstanding work of the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy reminds us on a daily basis, philanthropy is tightly woven into the fabric of American society and countless communities around the country. It is also one of the great strengths of the American system of higher education. I have often called it the “secret ingredient” that makes this system the best in the world.  Contributions from individuals and families and from great philanthropic endowments and foundations help provide the crucial margin of excellence for higher education in this country.

Today, we celebrate the latest example of the transformative power of philanthropy at Indiana University.

It is my great pleasure and privilege to announce a wonderful gift of $2.5 million from Irene and Bill McCutchen, made through the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, to the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

This extraordinarily generous gift will greatly benefit the school as it educates the next generation of leaders and scholars in philanthropy, as it adds to the growing body of knowledge and scholarship about philanthropy, and as it makes many important contributions to the economic development of our state, the nation and the world.

This gift also underscores Renie’s belief in the power of philanthropy to make a meaningful difference and a lasting impact in the world.

Renie is deeply committed to serving Indiana University and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, not only through her philanthropy, but also by sharing her time and expertise as a member of the school’s Board of Visitors and as one of the school’s greatest ambassadors.

Her example will undoubtedly inspire many others to lend their enthusiastic and energetic support to the vision we share for the school’s future. 

The Transformative Impact of The Lilly Family on Indiana University

Renie’s generous gift is part of a remarkable legacy of support by the Lilly family for Indiana University.

Of the many friends and supporters of Indiana University, I think it is fair to say that none has made a greater difference or shaped this institution more than the Lilly family.

Their remarkable philanthropic legacy dates back, of course, to 1937, when J.K. Lilly and his two sons, Eli and J.K. Lilly Jr., founded the Lilly Endowment, a private family foundation, which has grown to become one of the nation’s major philanthropic organizations. For many years, the endowment’s support has been vital to Indiana University’s excellence. Most recently, for example, the endowment’s generous support has allowed Indiana University to enhance the facilities of the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music with a new Studio Building, which we dedicated one year ago, and it is helping to make possible the expansion and renovation of Hodge Hall, the undergraduate facilities of the Kelley School of Business in Bloomington—the first phase of which will be dedicated later this month.

The generosity of the Lilly Endowment has also been crucial to IU’s success in philanthropy education and research. The Lilly Endowment made the initial planning grants that launched the school’s predecessor, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, more than 25 years ago, and it has provided substantial support throughout its history.

In all, the Lilly Endowment and members of the Lilly family have given the school and the former center nearly $100 million for the study and development of philanthropy.

The family’s legacy of support for Indiana University also includes J.K. Lilly Jr.’s 1956 gift to IU of more than 20,000 rare books and manuscripts—a gift that provided the foundation for what is now one of the finest rare books libraries in the nation, the Lilly Library on the Bloomington campus.

This remarkable legacy also includes support from Ruth Lilly, Renie and Ted’s late aunt, for the Center on Philanthropy, the Herron School of Art and Design, the McKinney School of Law, the IU School of Medicine, and the Indiana University Libraries.

It includes the gifts of two homes to IU by Eli Lilly, Jr.—homes that now serve as the Indianapolis residences of the university president and the IUPUI chancellor—and a generous endowment for the maintenance of the homes. 

The subsequent generations of the Lilly family have continued this tradition of generous support. Among the fifth and sixth generations of the Lilly family are at least five IU graduates, and the deep affection for IU held by all members of the Lilly family is evident.

All of us at Indiana University are deeply grateful for the extraordinary generosity of the Lilly family across six generations.

Renie’s generous gift, which continues this remarkable tradition of support for the university, will allow the school that bears her family’s name to build upon its pioneering and path-breaking work in philanthropy education, research and training.

Conferral of IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Medal of Distinction

Today, it is also my great pleasure to make a special presentation that recognizes Renie McCutchen’s commitment to the school.

Renie, would you please join me at the podium?

To honor extraordinary commitment such as yours, the school has created the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Medal of Distinction.

The medal is the highest honor awarded to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the school through their talents, services, or in any other form.

This is the first time the medal has been awarded.

The Medal of Distinction features the heraldic crest of the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which symbolizes kindness, charity, knowledge, and strength.

Renie, your support for the school will touch the lives of countless students, faculty, and staff and it will help Indiana University and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to continue to thrive for generations to come.

And so, by the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Indiana University, and on behalf of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, it is my great pleasure to present to you the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Medal of Distinction.