College of Arts and Sciences
IUGFS endowment campaign Frequently asked questions

Interview with Lee J. Suttner, Campaign Chair

Question: Why was the campaign theme "Touching the Heart, Inspiring the Mind" chosen?

Dr. Suttner: "When Dr. Priscilla Nelson, Provost and Senior Vice–President of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, accepted the Department’s distinguished Owen Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements of its alumni, she commented on how her experience in Montana touched her heart and inspired her mind in ways that still impact her today.

In visiting with our alumni I often hear essentially the same feelings expressed. A successful endowment campaign will ensure that this heart–touching and mind–inspiring experience will be available to students in perpetuity. "

Question: But why begin a campaign during such difficult economic times?

Dr. Suttner: "We did not have a clear economic crystal ball when the strategy was defined and the foundation laid for the campaign nearly two years ago. But we were aware of the dual crises affecting geosciences education in the field, namely the dramatic reduction over the past two decades in number of field courses being taught nation–wide and the equally dramatic reduction in number of students who have taken an immersive geoscience course in the field entering the nation’s work force.

This will have serious consequences in the energy industry, which is projecting a major overturn in its workforce in the next decade. However, out of crisis flows opportunity for our Montana program.

Indiana University has the faculty, facility, reputation and experience to be the premier and primary provider of geosciences courses in the field. It can assume a leadership position in the training of the workforce that will be responsible for the nation’s search for, and environmentally sound recovery of its energy and other natural resources.

However, to do so the University needs additional help."

Question: Why additional help?

Dr. Suttner: "Because the University is firmly committed to supporting our Montana program, but it cannot do all that is needed to ensure the highest level of excellence.

Our summer advanced-level courses, like most advanced–level science courses taught on the Bloomington campus, do not break even; the University provides over $100,000 of annual support.

Moreover, in the last 3 years it has invested over $475,000 in upgrading of the Field Station infrastructure.

Significant additional capital improvements, increase in scholarship awards, and program development will require support from outside sources, including corporations, foundations, and individuals."

Question: How can individuals help?

Dr. Suttner: "The most obvious way, of course, is through an outright gift, 5–year non–binding pledge, bequest, or other form of estate planned gift.

But help is also needed in locating former students, most of whom did not receive degrees from Indiana University and cannot be found in its alumni data base.

We seek volunteers willing to look through a list of nearly 3500 names we have found on old registration and grade rosters, out of a total of over 4500 former students, and to give us information they might have about the location and employment of anyone they recognize.

Lastly, we invite strategic advice from anyone that will guide us toward successful completion of the campaign."

Contact Us

For more details about our strategic plan and the campaign, contact:

Lee J. Suttner
Robert Shrock Emeritus Professor of Geological Sciences
Phone: 812-855-4957

For more information about ways to make a gift, including gifts of stock or personal property, bequests through your estate, and gifts that provide income to you for life, please contact:

Travis Paulin
Director of Development, College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 812-855-1876

Question: How much financial support is needed and how soon is it needed?

Dr. Suttner: "This is difficult to precisely quantify because we are building an endowment, from which only 5 percent of the corpus can be spent annually. How much we are able to spend and how soon we can spend it will be dictated by the size of the endowment and its rate of growth.

Our initial goal is to raise $1.5 million in the first 18 months of the campaign, the income from which can be used to attract matching funds from the University for infrastructure improvement.

In the second 18–month phase of the campaign we seek another $1.5 million for program development, student financial aid, and research on best practices of teaching geosciences in the field. A $3 million endowment would provide $150,000 of spendable income annually and would be supplemented by additional revenue generated by new courses for adults, including professionals from industry."

Question: Why should I help?

Dr. Suttner: "I come back to the word "opportunity."This is a wonderful opportunity for former students to give something back to an institution and program that served as a educational cornerstone in the building of a successful career.

This is also an opportunity to assist the University in its role in providing benefit to society as a whole through its efforts to enhance the training of future generations of students who will be charged with using their geosciences education to solve our energy problems.

Lastly, it is an opportunity for someone to experience the joy of giving. Giving adds to one’s life rather than diminishing it. It works on behalf of something outside of one’s self, thus making a person more whole."

Brochure and campaign donations