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IU Kokomo honors donors with wall unveiling

February 12, 2015
KOKOMO, Ind. — A donor wall is an open book, sharing stories about people, their connections, and their desire to make a difference.

Indiana University Kokomo honors those whose gifts impact the campus and its community, unveiling a newly updated donor wall with the names of nearly 70 individuals, families, and businesses. It represents nearly $10.8 million in gifts received over time.

The names represent connections to people and their stories of connection to the campus. It tells of people like Glenn and Nancy Grundmann, first-generation college graduates, who saw a need for a campus art gallery and for scholarships and provided gifts to accomplish those goals.

As people who had the chance to go to college as “day hops,” or commuters to a campus in their hometown of Milwaukee, Nancy Grundmann is proud to support IU Kokomo.

“It is a diamond in our community, and it needs to grow and prosper,” she said of the campus. “We understand what an opportunity it is, and we’re happy to have a part in that.”

“IU Kokomo gives students an opportunity to earn a college education in our community,” Glenn Grundmann added. “This is a great place.”

Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said the campus has much to celebrate, with new and expanded programs, growing enrollment, and new and updated facilities.

“Tonight, we celebrate our dear friends, who have supported us,” she said. “You have held us in trust, and you have believed in us. We transform lives. We see people from all walks of lives achieve their dreams, and 80 percent of them stay here, transforming our region.”

Jan Halperin, vice chancellor for university advancement, said the campus is successful because of investment from regional partners and donors.

“Your gift to IU Kokomo demonstrates your imagination, your vision, and your hope for the future,” Halperin said. “This is a most thoughtful way to help us chart the university’s future. What better way to support someone than by providing an education, or by enhancing the environment in which education flourishes?”

Other stories, like Elizabeth Ortman’s, are about helping the next generation of nurses like her. The former chairwoman for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education said it was important to her to help nursing students as they join her profession.

“When you live in a community, you have to back the organizations that are there, especially a college,” Ortman said.

They also represent the dreams of those whose names are not on the wall, who have benefitted from their gifts. That includes students like Judith Alanis Guijosa, daughter of parents who brought their six children to the United States, where they could earn college degrees and escape a life of poverty. With scholarships, Alanis Guijosa is a nursing student, with plans to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Her twin sister also is in college, she said, and it would have been impossible for her parents to pay for both of them to go to school.

“My scholarships allow me to go to school full time and concentrate on my studies, and I won’t have the worries about paying back loans in the future,” she said. “I feel really grateful and blessed.”

For more information about how you can leave a lasting legacy at IU Kokomo, please contact Jan Halperin at 765-455-9485 or jhalperi@iuk.edu.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 02/12/2015