Indiana University

News Release

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2005

McCloskeys' legacy to continue through research fund being established at IU

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Russian and East European Institute and the National Democratic Institute announced today (March 24) the establishment of a fund in honor of the late Frank McCloskey, former mayor of Bloomington, former congressman and an advocate for democratization efforts in the Balkans.

University officials are honoring one of the final wishes of Roberta McCloskey, his widow, who died of cancer on Feb. 2, three weeks after signing the fund agreement. Frank McCloskey was both a graduate student in the IU institute and an associate of NDI at the time of his death from cancer in November 2003.

Lee Hamilton, a former colleague of McCloskey's in Congress and director of both the IU Center on Congress and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, will be a guest speaker at a fundraising breakfast on April 5 at the Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center, 1000 E. 17th St. in Bloomington. Ed Delaney, an Indianapolis attorney who has been active in international trade work, especially as it relates to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, will moderate the program. He represented the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in an arbitration hearing under the Dayton Peace Accords.

Tickets for the event will cost $50 ($40 of which is tax-deductible). Contact the Russian and East European Institute at 812-855-7309 or to register for the event.

"The fund commemorates Frank McCloskey's contribution to democratization efforts in the Balkan region and is a result of the tireless dedication of Roberta McCloskey to initiate a program that reflects and honors her husband's abiding commitment to this cause," said Kumble R. Subbaswamy, dean of the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

Frank McCloskey, a Philadelphia native and IU alumnus, was Bloomington's mayor from 1972 to 1982. After being elected as a Democrat to the 98th Congress in 1982, he served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. After an unsuccessful re-election campaign in 1994, he turned his energies full-time to a cause he discovered as a congressman, ethnic strife in the Balkans. He made six trips to Bosnia and was the Kosovo Director of the National Democratic Institute.

IU's Russian and East European Institute administers one of the country's largest area studies programs in language, policy and culture of the region. The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide.

"It was Roberta's intent and we agreed that gifts to the McCloskey Fund be used for support of research and fellowships administered through the Russian and East European Institute and focused on the Balkan region," said David L. Ransel, director of the Russian and East European Institute and the Robert F. Byrnes professor of history. "The primary goal is to support graduate fellowships for the professional and scholarly development of young scholars with demonstrated potential for political or civic leadership."

Fellowship recipients will be either IU students whose work focuses on the Balkans or residents of the Balkan region who wish to do short-term travel for research or study at IU with a focus on implementing a project upon their return. They will benefit from ties established during Frank's tenure as a master's degree student in REEI between the university, local Bloomington government and party officials, and NDI's extensive network of political and civic leaders in Washington and throughout the country. Plans for the fund call for a working budget of $10,000 annually. Fundraisers hope to reach a goal of $200,000 in total contributions.

The IU institute's staff worked with Roberta through much of last year to sort through Frank's large personal library pertaining to Balkan history, politics and international law. She donated this collection of books so that IU could send them to an academic library in Bosnia. In accord with her wishes, all of the books -- many of which contain marginal notes in Frank's hand -- will be identified with a bookplate to ensure that students in Bosnia will recognize whose book they are reading.

IU's Lilly Library will be the final repository for his congressional papers and personal correspondence.

Gifts to the McCloskey Fund are tax-deductible. Make checks payable to the Indiana University Foundation and send them to the Russian and East European Institute, Ballantine Hall 565, Bloomington, IN 47405. To receive more information or to make an online donation by credit card, contact the College of Arts and Sciences Development Office at or the IU Foundation at Designate "McCloskey Fund/REEI" in the memo portion of your check or online gift form.

The Russian and East European Institute, founded in 1958, trains future scholars and professionals in advanced, interdisciplinary language and area studies; supports the activities of IU faculty and students who study the languages and peoples of the region; and furnishes accurate and timely information to K-12 teachers, postsecondary faculty, government, media and the general public. REEI has long been a federally funded National Resource Center and also received major research grants from the Ford and Mellon foundations.

Calling on a global network of volunteer experts, NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices and institutions. NDI works with people who foster democracy in every region of the world. NDI builds political and civic organizations, safeguards elections, and promotes citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

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