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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, February 17, 2004

McNutt estate gift to fund graduate fellowships in the humanities

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences has received a $2.12 million gift for a new fellowship program that will be used to attract more top graduate students in the humanities.

The new program is being funded by the estate of Louise McNutt, who passed away in June 2000. She was the only child of the late Indiana Gov. Paul V. McNutt and his wife, Kathleen McNutt Watson.

Interest income from her endowment will be equalled by a matching program from the IUB chancellor's office and will be used to fund between 10 and 15 full-tuition graduate fellowships annually for students in the humanities.

This program will strengthen the university's efforts to recruit master's and doctoral students in academic disciplines including history, literature, philosophy and art.

"Graduate education lies at the core of the intellectual and academic life of every great research university. This gift from the McNutt estate will allow us to compete with other institutions to bring the very best graduate students in the humanities disciplines to Indiana University," said Kumble R. Subbaswamy, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"We are very grateful to Louise McNutt for her vision and her generosity. Many generations of graduate students who will in time become leaders in the academic world and beyond will also be grateful for this gift to the College of Arts and Sciences," he added.

While McNutt was not an alumna of the university, her family maintained many ties to IU, dating back to the 1800s. Her father entered the IU School of Law-Bloomington in 1909, following other family members who had held high positions on its faculty. He graduated with highest honors in 1913 and joined the school's faculty in 1917. He served as IU law dean from 1925 to 1933, when he became Indiana's governor.

Louise McNutt had a distinguished 43-year career with the U.S. Department of State, concluding it as the United Nations Advisor in the Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs. Throughout her life, she maintained a close association with faculty in the IU History Department and was very close to late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells.

Gov. McNutt was named as U.S. high commissioner to the Philippines when Louise was at IU. The entire family moved to the Philippines, and Louise began but didn't finish her degree at IU. When she did return to the United States, she attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees.

"Louise's giving stems from her father's history with IU and the family's connection to Herman B Wells. It also comes from her deep interest in learning and foreign affairs," said her cousin, John L. Krauss of Indianapolis. "She was always intrigued by history, literature and the classics.

"Louise had a keen interest in seeing young minds grow and enrich themselves," Krauss added. "Fellowships are a very creative way for that legacy to continue. She really believed in what Herman B Wells meant when he said that he saw the whole world as Indiana University's horizon, and that he wanted to bring that world to IU.

"If with this gift she sparks that sort of curiosity in graduate students and in some way brings them closer to their goals, she would have been very happy," he said. "She would also be very happy to know that the university is matching her gift and using it as a challenge to build for the future."

In the past, McNutt has funded fellowships in East Asian Languages and Cultures and professor and lecture positions in history.