“Gifts to the Future from the Lilly Endowment”

IU Jacobs School of Music and IU School of Law—Bloomington
Lilly Endowment Gift Press Conference
Indiana University
Musical Arts Center
Watch the Video
December 12, 2007

Introduction and Acknowledgements

Thank you all for coming this afternoon to celebrate this important announcement.  Let me begin by offering a special welcome to David Jacobs,  Lou and Len Newman—longtime Board Members of Friends of Music; and Charles Webb.  As I look around the room, I see so many familiar faces:  Menachem Pressler, David Baker, Sylvia McNair . . .

One of the great strengths of the American system of higher education that makes it the best in the world is the remarkable role played by philanthropy. Contributions from families like the Jacobs and Simons and from great philanthropic endowments and foundations help provide the crucial margin of excellence for higher education in this country.

In my inauguration speech two months ago, I stressed that the core of a great university is an excellent faculty. They are critical to IU’s two fundamental missions of education on the one hand, and research, scholarship and creative activity on the other.

Today I am pleased to announce two gifts aimed directly at the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty. The Lilly Endowment has made two gifts totaling $69 million dollars to Indiana University.  One for $44 million dollars to the Jacobs School of Music, is the largest gift ever made to the school, and the largest ever made in support of the arts at Indiana University. The other of $25 million dollars to the IU School of Law—Bloomington is the largest gift ever made to that school as well.

With these gifts, the Endowment has given the extraordinary amount of well over $400 million to Indiana University over recent decades.

It has supported genomics, neurosciences, and other life sciences research that allows IU scientists and scholars to unlock the mysteries of the human body through the Indiana Genomics Initiative and the Indiana Metabolomics and Cytomics Initiative. It has supported IU’s emergence as one of the country’s leaders in the uses and applications of information technology through the Pervasive Technology Laboratories and the School of Informatics. It has funded research centers and institutes that help Indiana University continue to push back the frontiers of knowledge, including Indiana University’s unique Center on Philanthropy.  It has supported IU’s arts and humanities programs through New Frontiers grants. It has helped build IU’s extensive system of libraries and archives that are the repositories of knowledge from the ancient to the digital.  It has supported scholarships that have opened countless doors of learning and success to IU students across the state.

The Endowment’s generosity has transformed the face of this university, providing tremendous opportunities for excellence in teaching and learning, scholarship, performance, and research.

On behalf of Indiana University, I would like to express our deep gratitude to the Lilly Endowment through Vice President Sara Cobb for this extraordinarily generous gift. We are deeply grateful to you for your unwavering support of IU that has, over the decades, been so crucial to us.

I would also like to extend a special thanks to IU Foundation President Curt Simic. His leadership and counsel have helped lead to this announcement. I would also like to recognize IU Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson who plays a key role in building excellence on IU’s Bloomington campus and in whose efforts this gift will pay a crucial role. Finally, let me also thank Vice Presidents Terry Clapacs and Neil Theobald for their advice and assistance in some crucial matters related to these gifts.

Jacobs School: World Class Faculty, Students, and Facilities

The gift from the Endowment to the Jacobs School of Music will enable the school to build and equip a new North Studio Building.

The music world is united in its opinion: the IU Jacobs School of Music is one of the finest in the world – maybe the finest. Its faculty members are drawn from the ranks of the world’s scholarly and performing elite. Its students, likewise, are the most gifted among the gifted. The great Leonard Bernstein found it “extraordinary to have so many talented people in one place.” That concentration of talent continues today, with the recent appointment to the faculty of such luminaries as pianist André Watts, violinists Joshua Bell and Jaime Laredo, horn player Jeffrey Nelsen, sopranos Sylvia McNair and Carol Vaness, mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson, and conductor Leonard Slatkin. And this is on top of a stellar faculty too numerous to even mention, many of whom are here today.

When this building is complete, hopefully they will all say, in Gustav Mahler’s words, “At last I have found a home.”

This gift from the Lilly Endowment will provide the Jacobs School’s world-class faculty and students with world-class facilities, not just for performance, but for daily research, scholarship, creative activity, and teaching as well. This facility will be a magnificent addition to the Jacobs School, but it is also an important step for the university as we begin to address the critical space shortage that impacts so many aspects of this campus. This new environment will honor the stature of our faculty, unlock the potential of our programs, and open a world of opportunity for our students.

IU School of Law—Bloomington: Recruitment Initiative

This gift also includes $25 million to the IU School of Law—Bloomington. This will fund an initiative to attract some of the most outstanding faculty from all over the world to establish the school as one of the very best public university law schools in the country.

One of the first schools established at Indiana University, the School of Law at Bloomington is now recognized as an educational leader in many fields of legal scholarship. IU’s distinguished law faculty includes nationally and internationally recognized experts in securities law, international law and public health, biotechnology, constitutional democracy, cybersecurity, criminal law and procedure, environmental law, and intellectual property.

The school’s clinical programs offer students first-hand, real-world experience, and its multidisciplinary centers allow IU faculty to delve into increasingly complicated questions that cut across a range of traditional subject areas. Those centers include the new Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies, led by renowned constitutional law scholar David Williams, and the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, directed by Distinguished Professor and information privacy authority Fred Cate.

IU Bloomington’s accomplished law students come from around the world. In fact, I met a number of IU Law graduates on my recent trip to China. IU Law graduates serve in the Department of State, as counsel to the NFL, and have distinguished themselves in law firms across the country and around the world. Indeed, one graduate was described as the top trial lawyer in the country (Jack Kimberling, JD ’50).

This gift from the Lilly Endowment will build on this legacy of excellence and eminence by recruiting more of the very best legal experts from across the nation and around the globe. We might borrow a phrase from President Kennedy calling this new endeavor “a new world of law,” that builds on the many achievements and accolades of our distinguished law faculty. This new endeavor is vital to the school’s efforts to pursue excellence as one of the best public university law schools in the nation.

Conclusion: Gratitude to the Lilly Endowment

The Lilly Endowment’s past support of Indiana University has been extraordinary in its scope and scale. Without it we would be a lesser institution. It has supported this institution in truly remarkable ways, and we are deeply grateful. This most recent gift will be one of the most transformative gifts the Endowment has ever made. It reveals the Endowment’s visionary generosity and lasting commitment to improving higher education at Indiana University and throughout the state.