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Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two IU donors among nation's most generous

February 4, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two donors who made extraordinary gifts to Indiana University in the last year are being recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as some of the most generous philanthropists in the nation.

The Chronicle's listing of the "The Philanthropy 50" includes Michael and Janie Maurer, who committed $35 million for scholarships to the newly-named Maurer School of Law-Bloomington, and the estate of Jesse and Beulah Cox, which provided a gift of $77 million for scholarships to be awarded to students on the IU Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campuses.

Michael Maurer

Michael Maurer

Print-Quality Photo

"These are truly extraordinary gifts worthy of the national attention they are receiving," said Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University. "Scholarships make education affordable, and affordability is essential to IU's mission as a great public university to provide a quality education to all qualified students. What these donors have done to make higher education affordable for current and future IU students is of immeasurable value, to them and to Indiana University."

Both gifts qualify for matching funds set aside by IU through its "Matching the Promise" fundraising campaign for endowed scholarships, fellowships and faculty support. The match effectively doubles the annual distribution of income from each gift. Scholarship gifts through the campaign, with university and other funds, cover most of the cost for IU students who are Indiana residents with household incomes of $50,000 or less.

The Maurers' transformational gift is the largest ever to the law school from an individual donor and the largest single gift received during the school's ongoing fundraising campaign. It is the fourth largest gift ever received by IU from individuals and one of the largest ever for scholarships.

Michael (Mickey) Maurer chaired the school's first and highly successful fundraising campaign during the 1990s. He has been recognized for outstanding and sustained support of IU. An Indianapolis native, Maurer's career as an attorney and entrepreneur includes ventures in cable television, film production, radio broadcasting, newspaper publishing, government service and banking. He is chairman of the board of IBJ Corp.; owner and publisher of the Indianapolis Business Journal, Court and Commercial Record and Indiana Lawyer; and chairman of the board for The National Bank of Indianapolis, which he co-founded in 1993.

Jesse and Beulah Cox

Jesse and Beulah Cox

Print-Quality Photo

Janie Maurer is associated with numerous organizations including those supporting the arts, health, Jewish charities, the elderly, and many other social and civic causes. She has received numerous awards for her civic service.

Jesse and Beulah Cox, now both deceased, grew up during the Great Depression. Jesse put himself through Indiana University by working multiple jobs. He married his high school sweetheart, and together they started the J.H. Cox Manufacturing Co., which supplied venetian blinds to retailers Sears and Roebuck, L.S. Ayres and William H. Block in Indianapolis. Shortly afterward, they bought a small bankrupt company and started Aero Blind and Drapery Inc. At the time of its sale in 1982, Aero had 920 employees and annual sales of $30 million. Through subsequent ventures, the Coxes bought and managed commercial real estate rental property.

The scholarship fund they first established with a $15 million gift before their deaths pays for three-quarters of the yearly cost of attendance -- including tuition, room and board, books, fees, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses -- for students enrolled on the IU Bloomington or IUPUI campuses. Students commit to earning the other one-quarter of their expenses. The $77 million gift was initially committed anonymously. It is the largest gift ever received by Indiana University from individuals.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, January 26, 2009
America's Top Donors

"The Philanthropy 50: Americans Who Gave the Most in 2008"

Michael and Janie Maurer page

Jesse and Beulah Cox page

Cox Scholars program