It’s Official: Center On Philanthropy Becomes a School

With the pomp and circumstance that will typically occur next month on college campuses, the nation’s first School of Philanthropy was christened on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

Some 300 people packed the IUPUI Campus Center Theater on Tuesday afternoon for the inauguration ceremony of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The Indiana University’s Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet Thursday, where it is expected to approve the name for the new school.

The day’s keynote speaker, Emmett Carson, CEO and president of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), called the idea to create a School of Philanthropy, a “bold, visionary decision that was warranted, to put Indiana University at the vanguard of the necessary, reconceptualization of the nonprofit sector.”

Technology continues to create new methods that need to be studied and applied, and the Lilly School will be such a place for scholarly review, he said, including the study of new hybrid organizations like public benefit corporations, he said.

Carson received an honorary doctorate in 2007 from the Center on Philanthropy and will be an adjunct faculty member for the School of Philanthropy.

Representing the Lilly family, Irene Lilly McCutchen urged those present to “take what you find here today and make it better.” She said the inauguration memorializes the impact of philanthropy that exists between the Lilly family and Indiana University.

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie later presented McCutchen, Founding Dean Gene Tempel and IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz with keys to the new Lilly School of Philanthropy.

The endowment, a private philanthropic foundation that the family established 75 years ago, in 2006 made one of the largest gifts to Indiana University when it gave $40 million to support the education and training of new generations of leaders for philanthropy and nonprofits. In all, Lilly Endowment has given the school and the former center more than $80 million, and the center also received a $10million gift from Ruth Lilly to establish the Ruth Lilly Professorship program. The Lilly Family has given nearly $30 million in personal gifts to Indiana University.

“The Lilly family’s name is synonymous with philanthropy in Indiana and around the world,” said Tempel. Indiana University founded the field of philanthropic studies and established the first bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in the field. It also created the first endowed chair in philanthropy and now has six endowed chairs dedicated to increasing the understanding and improving the practice of philanthropy.

The School of Philanthropy will be home to the ongoing bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in philanthropic studies created by the center. It also will encompass the former Center on Philanthropy, which was started in 1987 with funding from the Lilly Endowment, and its existing programs, including its research program, The Fund Raising School, the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. The Center on Philanthropy’s executive director, Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., will be associate dean for academic affairs and research in the School of Philanthropy.

The significance of a stand-alone School of Philanthropy “is that it represents a place inside the university, where practitioners, researchers, future students, etc., can think about preparing themselves in the philanthropic sector,” Tempel said. “Whether they’re going to be a manager, a scholar, a fundraising professional, a grant officer, they’re in a place that is dedicated specifically to them,” he said.

The philanthropy programs already existed in IUPUI’s School of Liberal Arts. The first graduates from the School of Philanthropy itself will graduate at May’s commencement.

The School of Philanthropy will be recruiting its own faculty from other institutions, said Tempel, “who may be in sociology, economics or history, another field where they’ve been toiling by themselves inside that university, but they’ll be here now, connected to us, but that will be their primary assignment.”  That will result in new courses and additional types of research, he said.

There currently are 10 faculty positions, and the school is recruiting three more, with a plan for a total 20 positions over the next several years.