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Last modified: Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bill Cook, IU and Bloomington leader and benefactor, dies

April 16, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- On behalf of Indiana University, President Michael A. McRobbie issued the following statement late Friday (April 15) upon learning of the death of Bill Cook of Bloomington, a long-time friend and benefactor of Indiana University.

"We at Indiana University have lost a wonderful friend and partner in Bill Cook, who over the years has done so much to make IU the special place it is. So many of us at IU have been touched at one time or another by Bill's vision and generosity that I know I speak from the heart for all of us in conveying our profound and deepest sympathy to Gayle and Carl.

Laurie and I were privileged to have spent a lot of time with Bill and Gayle in recent years, and we will miss him greatly. I was particularly touched when he paid me the honor of attending my naturalization ceremony last October.

Bill will long be remembered as an extraordinarily successful man of great generosity, not only to Indiana University, but to the City of Bloomington and indeed to all of Indiana. In less than a half century, he built a business that became a world leader in providing high-quality medical devices that have extended and added quality to the lives of millions of people.

He cared deeply for his business, but he also showed that same level of care and commitment to his community and to making the world a better place. We are especially grateful for his commitment to Indiana University, which he served ably as a trustee and also as a benefactor who was determined to do all he could to help us achieve our goal of excellence in all that we do.

Bill and Gayle have left an indelible mark in many areas of IU, including the School of Medicine, the Jacobs School of Music, the School of Education, the Wells Scholars Program, and of course IU Athletics. But it is an especially notable testimony to their generosity of spirit that they insisted that the name of every Cook employee be included in the very large plaque that is displayed in Cook Hall, our wonderful basketball development facility.

Bill Cook was truly a great man. He will be missed."