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Joe Stuteville

Last modified: Tuesday, October 24, 2006

$100K IU Informatics scholarship gift honors retiring dean, invests in innovation

Oct. 24, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Some investments result in short-term profits, but an Indianapolis businessman envisions lifelong dividends with his establishment of new scholarships at the Indiana University School of Informatics.

The $100,000 endowment for the John R. Gibbs Scholarship for Innovation bears the name of its benefactor. It will award a scholarship of $2,500 annually to an informatics student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

It also will fund a four-year $2,500 annual scholarship in Bloomington, an amount that will be boosted to $5,000 with a matching grant from IU Bloomington's Matching the Promise campaign.

"It's been on my mind to endow a scholarship, and I wanted to get it done before Dean Michael Dunn retired to honor him and all he has done for the School of Informatics," said Gibbs, chairman and CEO of Qtrac Software LLC, a life sciences software company for the long-term care industry.

Dunn, who has been at the helm of the school since its founding in 2000, is scheduled to retire in July 2007.

"Since the School of Informatics is so new, the pool of scholarships is very small," said Gibbs, also co-founder of Interactive Intelligence Inc. "I hope this endowment encourages and motivates others to provide scholarship support to this exciting and worthy new school. For the average cost of sending a student through college today, I can provide two scholarships in perpetuity. Specifically, the $100,000 endowment will provide $7,500 in scholarships each year -- forever."

While the new scholarship recognizes the school's brief and successful history, it also emphasizes its future.

"Innovation can be found or created in any endeavor, area of interest or occupation," said Gibbs, a Carmel, Ind., resident. "It does not have to be in the information technology or high-tech arenas. That's why the scholarship requirements are very open to a wide variety of applicants."

The new scholarship was announced at a recent meeting of the School of Informatics Dean's Advisory Council, of which Gibbs is a founding chairman and continuing member. The DAC is made up of leaders from business, community and industry who advise the school on curriculum and program development, public and private sector funding, research support, long-range planning, student guidance, external relations and institutional advancement.

Gibbs is active in various business, civic and academic activities in Indianapolis and throughout the state, and has received numerous awards for his public and private contributions. He received his undergraduate degree at IU Bloomington, where he later pursued graduate work in business economics and finance.