"The Michael Maurer School of Law at Indiana University"

Moot Court Room, IU School of Law–Bloomington
IU Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana
December 4, 2008

Introduction

Thank you all for coming this afternoon for this important announcement.

Let me begin by offering a special welcome to IU Trustees Sue Talbot and A.D. King. State Representative Eric Koch from Bedford is also with us this afternoon. And please welcome Bill Hunt, chair of the IU Law School—Bloomington’s capital campaign; and Bob Kassing, co-chair of the campaign.

Generosity, Philanthropy, and American Higher Education

To borrow from Albert Camus, “Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.”1 Such generosity that seeks to build a better future is at the heart of American higher education.

In fact such generosity—born of selfless giving and nearly limitless altruism—has made our system of higher education the best in the world. We can look to the tremendous philanthropic contributions of corporations who have partnered with universities across the country, or toward foundations—like the Lilly Endowment—which, year-after-year, provide wide-ranging and generous philanthropic support.

Today we are celebrating another pillar of philanthropy—private or individual philanthropy—that has been vital to Indiana University’s excellence in education and research. It is my great pleasure and privilege to announce today a remarkable and generous $35 million gift from Michael and Janie Maurer to the Indiana University Law School here in Bloomington. This is the largest gift from a single donor that the IU Law School in Bloomington has ever received.

In recognition of the Maurer family’s remarkable vision and generosity, the IU School of Law—Bloomington will henceforth be known as the Michael Maurer School of Law. On behalf of Indiana University, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Maurers for this extraordinary gift.

At historical moments like this, when the country’s economic future is uncertain, gifts such as this from alumni and friends of the university become even more important and more meaningful. They express the unwavering support of our alumni and ensure Indiana University’s relentless progress towards excellence in education and research, even in the most difficult of times.

IU Law and Levels of Leadership

Over the course of well over a century, the IU Law School at Bloomington has demonstrated such excellence, becoming a national educational leader by providing the knowledge and training students need for success in complicated legal environments. Nearly a year ago, that leadership was recognized when the Lilly Endowment gave the School a generous gift to support the recruitment and retention of the very best law faculty.

That IU is home to so many interdisciplinary centers focused on legal matters and drawing scholars from around the world reflects the depth and range of our talented faculty.

The tremendous strength of the Law School’s faculty and programs provides the educational foundation upon which the success of the school’s alumni depends. That alumni network has grown from an inaugural graduating class of 5 students to well over 8,000 graduates living and working around the world.

Included in the ranks of our law school’s distinguished graduates are local, state, and national leaders. That the IU School of Law has been able to educate such leaders is a tribute to the school’s history of strong and committed leadership.

I would like to pay special tribute to Dean Lauren Robel for the great energy, focus, and vision with which she has led the Law School in Bloomington. Thanks to her and her predecessors, names like Taliaferro, Lofton, O’Bannon, Hamilton, and Bayh are among the countless stories of leadership and success that are part of this school’s longstanding traditions of excellence.

Michael and Janie Maurer

Of course, foremost among those stories of achievement on this day is Mickey Maurer, who received his J.D. from IU in 1967. His career as an attorney and entrepreneur has reflected his keen understanding of many different environments, including radio, TV, and print media, real estate, and banking.

A former Indiana Secretary of Commerce, Mickey currently serves as the Chair of the Board of the National Bank of Indianapolis, which he cofounded in 1993, and of the IBJ Corporation, which owns and publishes The Indianapolis Business Journal, Court and Commercial Record, and The Indiana Lawyer. Mickey has also served as the President of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

His many awards and honors highlight his deep engagement in the Indianapolis community and his dedication to making a difference in the lives of others. Those awards include the National Multiple Sclerosis Hope Award, the Americanism Award of the Anti-Defamation League, the Hoosier Heritage Civic Leadership Award, and two Sagamores of the Wabash. He received the first in 1995 from Governor Evan Bayh and the second from Governor Mitch Daniels in 2006.

For well over the last three decades, he has been committed to Indiana University and the School of Law at Bloomington. In 1996, he was inducted into the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows, which recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements of graduates from the School. He was honored with the IU Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2001, and received the IU Foundation President’s Medal in 2007 for his longstanding support of the Foundation and of Indiana University.

As chair of the School of Law’s first capital campaign in the 1990s, Mickey knows what a difference people make in the life of Indiana University.

Mickey’s wife Janie shares his deep commitment to philanthropic causes in a variety of different communities. Like Mickey, she has demonstrated her dedication to Indiana University and the School of Law at Bloomington. A woman of extraordinary talent in many different areas, Janie also brings a sense of grace and good humor that those who know her always recognize and appreciate.

Pillars of Philanthropy at Indiana University

Today the Maurer name joins those of other families who have made a transformative difference at Indiana University. Like the Lillys, the Krannerts, and the Simons, the Maurers have become a permanent pillar of generosity that will support this university long into the future. Like the Kelleys and the Jacobs, their name will be indelibly associated with one of this university’s finest schools.

Their remarkably generous gift will support the Michael and Janie Maurer Scholarships for law students at IU Bloomington, creating opportunities for future generations to pursue their highest educational aspirations. This gift also qualifies for matching funds through IU Bloomington’s Matching the Promise Campaign, and this will effectively double its impact.

Again, on behalf of Indiana University, I would like to express our profound gratitude to the Maurers for their tremendous generosity.

Conclusion

As Aristotle once said, “Anyone can . . . give and spend money—these are easy; but doing them in relation to the right person, the right amount, at the right time, with the right aim in view, and in the right way— that is not something anyone can do, nor is it easy. This is why excellence in these things is rare, praiseworthy and noble.”2

Today is a day of excellence in the life of Indiana University, thanks to the Maurer’s noble act of generosity.

Thank you very much.

Source Notes

  1. Camus, Albert. The Rebel. Trans. A. Bower. London: 1953. Page 253. Cited in Frederick Charles Copleston’s History of Philosophy.
  2. Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Trans. Roger Crisp. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. Page 35.