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Last modified: Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Philanthropy Center's Tempel to head IU Foundation

July 2, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie announced today that he has chosen Eugene R. "Gene" Tempel to succeed Curtis R. Simic as president of the IU Foundation. Tempel will be the seventh leader of the nonprofit organization established in 1936 as Indiana University's fundraising partner.


Eugene R. "Gene" Tempel

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Tempel, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, which is headquartered on the Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) campus in Indianapolis with programs at IUPUI and IU Bloomington, is nationally known as an expert on philanthropy and nonprofit management. Listed by the Nonprofit Times as one of the country's 50 most influential leaders in the nonprofit sector, Tempel was recommended to McRobbie after a nationwide search by a 15-member search committee that included representatives from the IU Foundation Board, IU Trustees and senior IU administrators.

McRobbie, who is also chairman of the IU Foundation's Board of Directors, said that the appointment, which is subject to the ratification by the Foundation's Board, is to take effect Sept. 1.

"I am honored to have been asked to serve as the next president of the Indiana University Foundation," said Tempel. "President McRobbie has created a bold vision for the future of Indiana University and has challenged the IU Foundation to build on what has been accomplished in the past to help bring that vision to life."

"For the past 20 years, Curt Simic has provided exemplary leadership for the Foundation in developing an outstanding board of directors and an exceptional staff, engaging all campuses, securing major gifts and building the endowment," Tempel continued. "I look forward to working with the Foundation board and staff to build on that excellent base to successfully develop the next level of growth in support of Indiana University."

Simic is retiring after 20 years as president of the Foundation. During Simic's tenure, the endowment grew from $214 million in fiscal 1988 to $1.6 billion, and IU has ranked among the top 20 American universities in total voluntary support -- gifts and research grants from the private sector -- for 16 of the past 18 years.

McRobbie said Simic's extraordinarily successful performance over two decades made it essential that IU find a successor with a similar record of ability and accomplishment.

"There are only a handful of people in the country with the necessary credentials and experience to fill this key position," McRobbie said. "We were very fortunate to find one of them in our own IU community. Gene Tempel has mentored many of the nation's most successful executives in philanthropic fund-raising, so he is clearly well prepared for this assignment."

Hylant of Indianapolis Chairman W. Michael Wells, who is an IU Foundation board member and chair of the search committee, said that the group charged with finding the next Foundation president conducted a detailed and thorough national search.

"As a result of our research and deliberations, we believe Gene Tempel to be one of the most knowledgeable practitioners and thought leaders in the field of philanthropy, especially higher education philanthropy," said Wells. "We have no doubt that Gene will ably lead the Foundation as it continues its phenomenal trajectory of growth in support for IU, set in motion by outgoing president Curt Simic."

August M. Watanabe, vice chairman of the Indiana University Foundation Board of Directors and retired executive vice president and director of Eli Lilly and Company, spoke for the Foundation's board. "Gene Tempel has the unique and outstanding combination of national stature, experience as a practitioner, administrative skills, solid academic grounding and a deep and long-standing dedication to IU," said Watanabe. "We could not be more pleased that he has accepted our offer to lead the IU Foundation in its important work of supporting the mission of Indiana University and the vision of its president, Michael McRobbie."

Tempel played a key role in the establishment of the Center on Philanthropy in 1987 at Indiana University, which also became home to the nationally recognized and lauded Fund Raising School.

The Center on Philanthropy serves as a leading national resource for education, research, training and public service programs pertaining to the nonprofit sector. "The Center on Philanthropy is a stellar program at Indiana University, superbly developed by Gene and his colleagues over the years," said McRobbie.

Among numerous professional memberships, Tempel is active in the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has held several national committee chair positions with this organization. Often quoted as a spokesperson for the philanthropic and nonprofit sector, Tempel is an author and co-author of several works in the field and an award-winning leader.

In 2007 he received the James L. Fisher Award for distinguished service to education from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The late Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon recognized Tempel's service to Indiana by naming him a Sagamore of the Wabash. And, Tempel was awarded the IUPUI Alumni Association's Maynard K. Hine Medal, which honors distinguished alumni for continuous support and service to IUPUI and Indiana University.

Prior to leading the Center on Philanthropy, Tempel's career at IU included service as director of external affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences at IU's Bloomington campus, vice president-Indianapolis for the IU Foundation, executive director of The Fund Raising School, and vice chancellor for external affairs at IUPUI.

Tempel holds faculty appointments in higher education and philanthropic studies in the IU Schools of Education, Liberal Arts, and Public and Environmental Affairs. He earned his master's degree from IU's College of Arts and Sciences and his doctorate from the IU School of Education, and holds an undergraduate degree from St. Benedict College.