Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ten Great Indianans

In 1987, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University formed, under the leadership of Gene Tempel, who worked at IUPUI and prepared the feasibility study and initial funding requests that led to the Center. Gene has been nominated this year as the first dean of the first School of Philanthropic Studies, now in formation IUPUI. This new school puts philanthropic studies firmly in the "academy," as envisioned--and made possible--by the Center's early team.

Among those who were part of the Center 'back in the day' are many whose influence is still felt but whose names risk being lost unless documented. Here are some I know about and want to incorporate in my own celebration of the past 25 years of the Center's success and progress.

Anita Plotinsky: She drafted the first curriculum and program standards for a master's degree in philanthropic studies, the foundation on which much else has been laid.

Dannis Hart*: This woman with a dramatic personal story served as assistant to the Center's first full-time permanent direct, Robert L. Payton. Dannis inspired and supported many through the early days.

Delynn Cravens: One of the very first graduates, Delynn enrolled in the Masters Degree in Public Affairs with a concentration in nonprofit management long before it made US News & World Report's list of top programs

Jane Morris*: Many people first contacted the Center via Jane in her role in the admissions process in the Center's academic programs.  She was the face and voice of the Center for the most important of a university's constitutents, its students.

Janet Huettner: Janet was the first librarian of philanthropic studies in the world. She helped build the collection at the Joseph and Matthew Patyon Library that is now referenced by students, faculty, scholars and researchers around the globe.

Jennnifer Staashelm: The Center's first full-time permanent employee, she started as office manager and retired this year after serving as Director of Operations for some years. She also worked in development and in The Fund Raising School during her 25 years at the Center.

Lilya Wagner: She came to the Center to work with The Fund Raising School as a curriculum expert and instructor. Lilya still teaches for The Fund Raising School when her work at PSI permits a break.

Lois Sherman: Lois edited and produced some of the first texts used in the study of philanthropy, including a series of scholarly monographs at IU Press and books and essays produced under the Center's own imprint.

Sue Shepard: A true trailblazer, Sue enrolled in the Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies program, taking time away from Minnesota, when the ink on the program approval was barely dry. 

Tess Baker: Tess worked with the team shaping academic programs at the Center and was part of the sometimes challenging process of integrating this new academic field simultaneously into the university and with the more career-focused study of fundraising.

All of these women, and more, are part of the Center's success over the past 25 years.  I can think of several men, too, who played key roles in those early days: J T., Michael, Charles, and others. Add your nominees to the list of people who have made the Center what it is -- and those who will take it into the next 25 years.

* deceased


Anonymous said...

I.e., these women did the work, the man gets the reward?

NPOwriter - Melissa Brown said...

Leadership, whether from men or women, is important in new enterprises. It takes work, too, but it also takes a team to implement the vision. It just happens that the team at the early COP (and still) was largely female.