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Kathy Borlik
Communications, IU South Bend

Last modified: Friday, September 21, 2012

IU South Bend School of Business and Economics named in honor of Judd Leighton

Sept. 21, 2012

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has announced the naming of the Indiana University South Bend School of Business and Economics in honor of former South Bend businessman, banker, civic leader and philanthropist Judd Leighton.

The school will be known as the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics in recognition of the largest single donor gift in the history of IU South Bend.

Judd Leighton

Portrait of Judd Leighton. Image provided by the Judd Leighton Foundation Inc.

Print-Quality Photo

The Judd Leighton Foundation Inc. has made a gift of $4 million to support undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty development and the creation of two positions focused on retention and student success.

The agreement also includes a challenge grant of $1 million to help fund the completion of the renovation of the Administration Building, which houses the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics.

"The Leighton family had a long and distinguished history of philanthropy that has greatly benefited South Bend for decades, and that legacy of support lives on through this most generous gift to IU South Bend from the Judd Leighton Foundation," McRobbie said. "Like the Leighton Foundation, IU is committed to serving the South Bend region, and this transformative gift to the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics will strengthen an already exceptional learning experience for our students, the vast majority of whom remain in the area to live and work upon graduation."

IU South Bend Chancellor Una Mae Reck added, "With this generous gift, the Judd Leighton Foundation has changed the trajectory of the School of Business and Economics at IU South Bend and has ensured that it will always stand for excellence in business education."

The Judd Leighton Scholarship will be given to academically distinguished high school students with leadership potential who are enrolled in the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics and are majoring in business or economics as part of IU South Bend's Honors Program. To be eligible, students must have a minimum cumulative high school grade-point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Judd Leighton Fellowships will be awarded to highly qualified graduate students enrolled in one of the three master's programs in the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics. To be eligible, students must have earned an undergraduate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.

Support for faculty will augment teaching and research activities, including assisting with funding for visiting scholars, conference travel, hardware, software, database tools and graduate student assistantships.

Two positions will be created. A retention specialist will develop and coordinate freshman-year programming to improve student persistence and graduation rates. An experiential learning coordinator will assist students with career development, internships, co-ops, field projects and service learning opportunities.

Three experiential learning labs are also planned: Creative Design Lab, Financial Trading Lab and E-commerce Consulting Lab.

The $1 million challenge grant is designed to encourage other donors to contribute to the renovation of the Administration Building. A campaign to raise the $1 million match is under way and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013.

"We are honored to have the name Judd Leighton forever associated with the School of Business and Economics at IU South Bend," Dean Rob Ducoffe said. "His legacy of leadership, character and community service will be passed forward by our students, graduates, faculty and staff."

"The Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics is training many of the next generation of local business leaders," said James Keenan, president of the Leighton Foundation. "This investment has the potential to keep more of our most talented students learning and working right here in our community. We are privileged to partner with IU South Bend in this important new effort."

Judd Leighton was born in South Bend in 1910 and lived most of his life in the city while having a distinguished career in business and banking. He served as chairman of First Interstate Bank of Northern Indiana and Benicia Industries in California. He was a director of Gulf & Western Industries Inc., Paramount Communications Inc. and Associates Corporation of North America. He and his wife, Mary Lou, were well known in the community for their service and philanthropy.

The Judd Leighton Foundation focuses on three primary areas: health, education and economic development. An auditorium and cardiovascular lecture hall at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., bear the Leighton name. The Memorial Leighton Heart and Vascular Center in South Bend opened in 2005. The Memorial Leighton Senior Center serves the elderly in the community, the Memorial Leighton Healthplex promotes a healthy lifestyle for children, and the Leighton Gallery is open to the entire community at the Northern Indiana Center for History.

The Leighton gift to IU South Bend will be invested and managed by the Indiana University Foundation.