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Indiana University

College of Arts and Sciences
endowment campaign letter from the director


"Truly great teachers touch students’ hearts and inspire their minds..."

Truly great teachers and great courses touch students’ hearts and inspire their minds in ways that remain with them the rest of their lives. For many geologists, the summer field course is the academic experience that has touched their heart and inspired them most deeply. It is the cornerstone of the unique cultural foundation of the geosciences community. Yet nationwide the number of summer field courses has decreased from more than 250 in the 1980’s to fewer than 70 today, primarily as a casualty of increasing costs. The demise of these programs seriously jeopardizes our nation’s ability to train the future workforce of geoscientists in the critical skills that are essential for careers in the minerals, energy, and environmental industries. It is a concern that demands an insightful plan and commitment from Indiana University, given our outstanding tradition of excellence in field geosciences.

Our response is founded on our unique asset, the Geologic Field Station in the Tobacco Root Mountains of southwest Montana, considered by many to be the finest facility and program of its kind in the world. This invaluable resource empowers us to perceive uncertainties in the future of field programs in geosciences as an exceptional opportunity to develop a bold strategy for broadening the spectrum of our educational activities in Montana.

The Department of Geological Sciences is committed to a long-term strategic plan that will progressively expand the scope and breadth of our instructional mission, and will support this expanded program with the enhancement in infrastructure necessary to facilitate these new initiatives. We have begun this process, aided by an initial commitment of $475,000 from the College of Arts and Sciences and Indiana University to meet the immediate needs for building renovation and new accommodations. This is in addition to the over $150,000 annual program support provided by the College.

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

But the heart of our strategic plan is a campaign to create a $3 million endowment through private and corporate support, the income from which can be used in perpetuity for facility enhancement and program expansion. The expanded curriculum for adults will lead to additional revenue generation. This endowment income and new revenue will ensure that Indiana University remains at the forefront of teaching geoscience in the field, and is able to recruit and provide financial support for students at all levels.

If, like so many others, your mind and heart were touched in a positive and lasting manner by the time you spent in and around our beloved Tobacco Root Mountains, please help ensure that future generations of students can share in this heart-touching and mind-inspiring experience.

Lee J. Suttner
Robert Shrock Emeritus Professor of Geological Sciences and
Director of Development