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Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2005

IU students benefit from gifts for scholarships totaling $155 million

Donor of $70 million gift wishes to remain anonymous

Dec. 1, 2005

EDITORS: The inaugural Cox Scholars were announced in a separate release also issued today. Today's announcement can be viewed live and on an archived basis at

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert announced today (Dec. 1) a $15 million gift and a record-setting $70 million gift that bring total giving for scholarships in the past 12 months to $155 million. These gift funds are expected to create more than 1,100 new scholarships in perpetuity for IU students.

The gifts announced today include a $70 million gift from a donor who has asked to remain anonymous and a $15 million gift from Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist Jesse H. Cox and his late wife, Beulah. This gift has launched the Cox Scholars Program, now in its first semester, for academically talented students who are working their way through college.

The anonymous gift is the largest one ever made by an individual to the university. Combined with the Cox gift, they are expected to create more than 560 new scholarships, mostly for Indiana residents.

Herbert noted that the scholarship endowments are not only helping to keep IU accessible to all Hoosiers, but they are serving as extraordinary incentives to attract and retain the brightest and most motivated students. "Education is the key to opportunity," he said. "Jesse and Beulah Cox, along with our other donors, have placed that key in the hands of deserving students. Indiana University is deeply grateful to them for passing these opportunities on to others.

"The loyalty of our alumni remains a shining testament to IU's quality. It also is an essential ingredient in our ability to carry out our mission as a truly public university," Herbert added. "We are very proud of the alumni and donors whose loyalty and generosity we celebrate today.

"With the continued help of donors such as Jesse and Beulah Cox, David and Barbara Jacobs, Bill Godfrey, Luci and Larry Glaubinger and the Lilly Endowment, we will continue to ensure that the doors of educational opportunity remain open wide for generations of Hoosiers."

Other major gifts announced in the last year include:

  • $10 million from the Lilly Endowment to establish the Hoosier Presidential Scholars program, which will enable IU to create approximately 140 new scholarships;
  • $10 million from the Glaubinger Foundation, on behalf of alumni Larry and Lucienne Glaubinger, to the IU Athletic Scholarship Endowment, which will create 40 scholarships for student-athletes in non-revenue Olympic sports;
  • $20 million from alumnus William Godfrey for about 100 scholarships in the Kelley School of Business;
  • $30 million from alumni the late Barbara and David H. Jacobs for a yet to be determined number of scholarships in the Jacobs School of Music.

Herbert today also announced the first 21 recipients of the Cox Scholarships. The Cox Scholars -- who all are Indiana residents -- benefit not only from the scholarship but also from participating in special programs and seminars.

Within three years, the Jesse H. and Beulah Chanley Cox Scholarship Fund will provide 75 percent of the cost of attending undergraduate classes at IU Bloomington or Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) for 63 Indiana residents who excel in the classroom and also are working students.

The Cox scholarship provides $13,500 annually to students enrolled at IUPUI and $12,000 to students enrolled at IUB. Twenty-one students are receiving Cox scholarships this year. One-third of scholarships will be awarded to IUPUI undergraduates and two-thirds to IU Bloomington undergraduates.

"The Cox Scholars are shining examples of the bright students and future leaders that scholarships bring to IU," said Curt Simic, president of the IU Foundation. "As the scholarship funds received over this past year are awarded, many more people who dream of obtaining an education at IU will have that chance. These are wonderful gifts from generous donors who know that higher education is the key to the future, both for the individuals receiving the scholarships and for us -- the citizens of the state, the nation and world -- who will benefit from their talents and their education in the decades to come."

Kenneth Gros Louis, IU senior vice president for academic affairs and Bloomington campus chancellor, said that when he met the Coxes he was "impressed by their belief in the power of higher education. I applaud their vision and willingness to share their successes with young people. These students will never forget the generosity that was extended to them. It is a great and inspiring gift."

"Many IUPUI students balance work, school and family responsibilities. The Coxes understood how difficult that is," added Charles Bantz, vice president for long range planning and IUPUI chancellor. "Their scholarship program will help ease students' paths to completing a college degree."

Like others of their generation, the Coxes were shaped by growing up during the Great Depression. Born on a homestead in Utah, Jesse Cox returned to his family's home state of Indiana when he was four and his mother died a year later. While his father supported him and his two brothers and a sister by farming and building homes, Jesse worked from the age of six on family farms or businesses.

He and Beulah Chanley were high school sweethearts, but finances prevented them from marrying. She graduated from Indiana Central Business College, and he attended business college and Butler University part-time while working. He enrolled at IU Bloomington in the fall of 1939, and he and Beulah were married the same year. He put himself through IU by working and starting a number of small businesses, including a transportation service and mimeograph business.

After graduation, he started the J.H. Cox Manufacturing Co., which supplied venetian blinds to retailers Sears & Roebuck, L.S. Ayres and William H. Block. Shortly afterward, Jesse and Beulah bought a small bankrupt company and started Aero Blind & Drapery Inc. At the time of its sale in 1982, Aero had 920 employees and annual sales of $30 million. Through other ventures, Jesse H. Cox Inc. and B.J. Realty Inc., the Coxes began farming nearly 1,500 acres in Boone, Hamilton and Putnam counties, and buying and managing commercial real estate rental property.

Beulah Cox passed away in 1999, shortly after their 60th wedding anniversary.

The Coxes earlier donated funds used to build and maintain the Jesse H. and Beulah Chanley Cox Pavilion, as part of the Arboretum developed on the site of the old Memorial Stadium at IU Bloomington. Both were named for the Coxes in 1997 by IU. He is a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity and the IU Alumni Association. He and Beulah have been inducted into the IU Presidents Circle by the IU Foundation.

Their generosity and community involvement extends far beyond IU. In 1999, the Coxes donated their home and the surrounding 125 acres to the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department in order to "preserve an oasis in a sea of housing." The property has been preserved as Coxhall Park and Gardens. He is a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge and was named a Sagamore of the Wabash in 2002.