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Mary Chappell
Kelley School of Business

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, April 20, 2004

IU announces the establishment of the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence

Gerald L. Bepko, IUPUI chancellor emeritus, to serve as first director

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University today (April 20) announced the establishment of the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence, made possible by a generous gift from the Randall L. Tobias Foundation.

The Tobias Leadership Center will be a preeminent source, collaborator and convener on the subject of effective leadership across multiple sectors in the economy. This concentrated focus on cross-sectored leadership in the corporate, public service, education and nonprofit communities will distinguish the center's agenda as unique among leadership programs nationwide.

Housed in the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and headquartered on the campus of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, the Tobias Leadership Center will be a university-wide entity that will conduct innovative research. It also will offer curricula and teaching strategies designed to inspire effective leadership skills that change lives and organizations. Combined with the theoretical work of scholars, the work of renowned practitioners will stimulate original thought and insure utility for the center's activities.

Although the enduring mission of the Tobias Center will be to inspire leadership excellence on a national scale, special access to the center's work will be furnished to Indiana citizens for the distinct purpose of enhancing leadership strength within the state.

Gerald L. Bepko, chancellor emeritus of IUPUI, will serve as the Tobias Center's inaugural director, offering strategic and entrepreneurial management for the center and its developing activities. Philip L. Cochran, holder of the Thomas W. Binford Chair in corporate citizenship at the Kelley School, will be the associate director and director designate.

Ambassador Randall L. Tobias, chairman emeritus of Eli Lilly and Co., currently serves President George W. Bush as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. Tobias' extraordinary leadership experiences in business, government education and the nonprofit sector, coupled with his contributions to these fields as a practitioner and author, inspired him to encourage IU to create the leadership center.

"There is a significant need for a place to research, discuss, debate and determine the critical quality of leadership and the means to assess, distinguish and train effective leaders. Indiana University deserves to be that place," Tobias said, 40 years after his graduation from IU. "My years at Indiana University clearly marked the point in my life from which I can trace everything that has happened since."

Paige Tobias Button and Todd C. Tobias, directors of the Randall L. Tobias Foundation, presented the $5.25 million gift in support of the leadership center bearing their father's name. Randall and Marianne W. Tobias are honorary chairpersons of the very successful Campaign for IUPUI.

Festivities to celebrate the Tobias Leadership Center's establishment will be held May 10. The center's first public activities will include the inaugural Tobias Lecture to be presented in the fall.