Honorary Degree Luncheon Honoring Bill Hunt

Virgil and Elizabeth Hunt Hall Atrium
IU Kokomo
May 10, 2011


Thank you, Chancellor Harris, and good afternoon.

It is a great pleasure to be here to celebrate the conferral of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters upon one of our state’s most distinguished business leaders—and a great alumnus and supporter of Indiana University—Bill Hunt.

Committment to Kokomo

Bill has been unwavering in his dedication to IU Kokomo and the surrounding community.

He was raised here, and he has continued to maintain lifelong friendships with those he grew up with, as well as a deep concern for the economic and social well-being of the Kokomo campus, the city, and all of north central Indiana.

That concern is reflected in his strong belief in higher education and, in particular, the critical role it can play in providing Hoosiers with the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly complex, competitive, and fast-changing world.

Commitment to IU and Future Generations

Bill is living proof of the power of a world-class education and why Hoosiers have always made it a priority to invest in higher learning.

He earned both his bachelor of arts degree and doctor of jurisprudence degree from IU. He also is a graduate of the prestigious Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. Those educational experiences propelled him to become a successful CEO and, since his retirement in 2001, a highly sought-after entrepreneurial adviser.

Indiana University has benefited greatly from Bill’s exceptional business acumen and advice. Over the years, he has lent his expertise to numerous boards, including the IU Foundation Board of Directors, the IU Kokomo Advisory Board, the IUPUI Board of Advisors, the Kelley School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, Indiana Law’s Board of Visitors, and the Board of Directors for the newly named Indiana University Health system, which he chairs.  He has also spearheaded major fundraising campaigns, including a recent campaign for the Maurer School of Law.

Over the years, he has exhibited tremendous generosity to his alma mater, donating millions of dollars so that future students will have the same opportunities he had. As recently as 2008, he and his wife Nancy gave a $2 million gift to the Maurer School of Law to create the V. William and Nancy B. Hunt Scholarships for IU graduates to pursue a law degree at the school. And of course, this very hall was made possible by a generous gift to the campus from Bill and Nancy, and is named in honor of Bill’s parents Elizabeth and Virgil. As most of you know, Bill’s father Virgil Hunt became the first leader of IU’s Extension Center in Kokomo in 1945.

Bill’s wife, Nancy, shares her husband’s deep commitment to philanthropic causes and dedication to Indiana University.  Indeed, the university has benefited greatly from her experience as a strong civic leader and community volunteer. Just last year, she was named a founding member of the IU Women’s Philanthropy Council, a national model for engaging women in philanthropy and volunteerism in higher education.

Bill and Nancy both continue a legacy of leadership and service to this wonderful campus, to this community, and to the entire state.

We are most grateful for their dedication and continuing commitment.


So would you all join me in raising your glasses to Bill Hunt, his wife, Nancy, and his entire family.

Thank you all for your long-standing commitment to Indiana University, and to the Indiana University Kokomo campus.

With your support, there is no doubt that the IU Kokomo campus will continue to grow and be a vibrant partner in north central Indiana.