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Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Indiana University to award honorary degree to Russell Mawby

Business man, philanthropist and international leader to receive Doctor of Humane Letters degree

For immediate release, April 20, 2005

President. CEO. Philanthropist. International leader. Russell Mawby's accomplishments during his 30 years with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as his down-to-earth nature.

"A century ago, Russ would have been identified and praised as 'a man of the people,'" says Robert L. Payton, professor emeritus of philanthropic studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. "He earned the friendship of those he met at lunch counters and at the county courthouses, and in the process became wise in the ways and values of the people the Kellogg Foundation sought to serve."

Through his involvement with IUPUI's Center on Philanthropy over the past 15 years -- he has served as a scholar in residence and on the center's board of governors since 2000 -- Mawby has helped elevate the center to its status as one of the best-known organizations of its kind in the world. "Public service is the spirit which animates some of the best things our public universities do," says Mawby, who received all three of his degrees at public universities. He earned his B.S. (magna cum laude in horticulture) and Ph.D. (in agricultural economics) from Michigan State University and his M.S. (also in agricultural economics) from Purdue University.

"Perhaps it was his agricultural background that led him to view the nonprofit sector as a kind of garden where, by sowing seeds and nurturing growth, communities raise the resources they need to survive and thrive," says Chancellor Charles R. Bantz of IUPUI. "Youth development was a particular passion for Mr. Mawby because he believes investing in youth pays social dividends decades ahead and well beyond."

Through Mawby's assistance, the Center on Philanthropy has received more than $7 million in grants from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, where he served for over 30 years as president, CEO, and chairman. (Mawby is currently chairman emeritus and an honorary trustee of the Kellogg Foundation.) His involvement in Kellogg led to the development of Learning to Give, a Web site that provides K-12 teachers with lesson plans and supporting materials on philanthropy and volunteerism. Other initiatives have promoted philanthropy and volunteerism among minorities and new and young donors. Through the Build Bridges campaign, 20 universities in the United States (including Indiana University) and 10 universities in Latin America have expanded their nonprofit management programs. The Kellogg Foundation is currently the most significant foundation that is funding education in the fields of philanthropic studies and nonprofit management.

Mawby's philanthropic efforts aren't contained to the Midwest. "Under Dr. Mawby's leadership, the Kellogg Foundation made signature contributions to several aspects of the civic, educational, and heath care infrastructure of the United States and globally," says Eugene R. Tempel, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy. The philanthropic model he created has helped shape policies and practices used by many of today's leading foundations.

Mawby has received honorary doctorates from 18 institutions, as well as distinguished service, alumni, membership, and citizenship awards. He has served as secretary and on the board of directors of the Michigan State University Foundation, on the board of directors of the children's advocacy organization Michigan's Children, and on the advisory council of the NorthPointe Woods senior residence center. He has also been a member of the leadership advisory council and nominating committee of Olivet College and a steering committee member of the Calhoun County Agricultural and Industrial Society.

"[Dr. Mawby] is one of the most distinguished, insightful, and dedicated leaders who have shaped the norms for foundation giving and the direction of nonprofit activity during its most important historical expansion over the past twenty years," says Paul G. Schervish, director of the Social Welfare Research Institute at Boston College and a National Research Fellow for the Center on Philanthropy.

His dedication to educating young people in the ways of altruism is ceaseless. In an observation that describes his own career as well as the field of philanthropy at large, Mawby says, "Working with youth is like a stone thrown into a pond; the ripples keep expanding far beyond our time and place, far beyond our ability to measure."