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Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

IU's Matching the Promise campaign has raised more than $60 million for graduate fellowships

June 11, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University and its fundraising partner, the IU Foundation, announced today (June 11) that IU Bloomington's "Matching the Promise" campaign has raised more than $60 million for graduate fellowships.

Michael McRobbie

Michael McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

In addition to the campaign's goals of increasing accessibility to IU for students from low- and moderate-income income families, IU also is committed to providing financial support to attract and retain the nation's top graduate students, who play a key role in the university's teaching and research missions.

Before the campaign started, the Bloomington campus had $22.1 million in its endowment for these graduate fellowships. So far during the campaign, IU has received $55.1 million in matched gifts and another $5.5 million in unmatched gifts.

As a result, 66 new graduate fellowships will be created, totaling $5.8 million annually.

Including the campus match, which exists in perpetuity, the Bloomington campus has increased its endowment for graduate fellowships more than six times to a total of $135 million.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie said the fellowships will enable IU to remain competitive for the most qualified graduate students, who frequently are involved in pioneering research, teaching innovation and creative activity, as well as the faculty who want to work with them.

"As we analyzed our private funding needs at the beginning of this campaign, we believed that one of our greatest needs was increasing our number of graduate fellowships," McRobbie said. "These results demonstrate that we've done an excellent job of aggressively moving forward with fellowship support."

McRobbie said improving the university's ability to attract qualified graduate students will also help the university retain top faculty members.

Gwyn Richards

Gwyn Richards

"Our faculty want the very best graduate students," McRobbie said. "And the most academically qualified graduate students want to go where the best faculty are teaching and doing research."

Recruiting the best graduate students often comes down to finances, because they often bring significant debt from their undergraduate studies. Add to that the potential for incurring further debt, and many will choose to go where fellowship support is most available and generous.

The Jacobs School of Music leads the way with nearly $22 million in fellowships raised, which will enable the school to continue to attract the most talented musicians, composers and future music educators.

"As the cost of higher education increases, the role that scholarships play in guiding the college decision process cannot be overemphasized. Endowments created through the Matching the Promise Campaign double the impact of a donor's already generous gift," said Jacobs School Dean Gwyn Richards. "These endowments strengthen our school and allow us to put Indiana University education within reach of many talented and deserving students."

The College of Arts and Sciences has received $16.2 million in graduate fellowships, followed by the IU School of Law--Bloomington with $9.4 million; the Kelley School of Business, $4.5 million; and the School of Education, $1.3 million. IU's Workshop in Political Theory, and its schools of public and environmental affairs, journalism and optometry also have attracted significant gifts under $1 million.

Lauren Robel, dean of the IU School of Law--Bloomington, said the fellowships will aid the school's initiative to become one of the best public university law schools in the country. Attracting top performing students will improve the school's national profile.

"We have increased the entering qualifications of our students tremendously as a result of being able to provide fellowship support," Robel said. "Our entering class ranks among the top six or seven among all public law schools."

While most of the gifts are unrestricted, some fellowships have been targeted to match students' talents and needs with benefactors' interests and IU's areas of excellence. For example, the IU School of Law-Bloomington's Skadden Fellowships award students who wish to devote their professional lives to providing legal services to the poor, the elderly, the homeless, and the disabled.

The campaign is titled "Matching the Promise" because it is designed to give donors a chance to double the effective value of their gifts. To qualify for a full match, a contribution must be at $250,000 for graduate-level fellowships.

A $250,000 gift generates 5 percent a year, or $12,500, to be applied to scholarships. The Bloomington campus matches that with another $12,500, so the gift effectively produces a $25,000 scholarship every year in perpetuity. The seven-year campaign began in July 2003, and will continue through June 2010.

So far the campaign has received $239 million in gifts and commitments for scholarships and graduate-level fellowships. Several major building projects also have benefited from Matching the Promise, including Simon Hall, a second multidisciplinary science building, Memorial Stadium and the new basketball practice facility adjacent to Assembly Hall.