The Indiana University School of Art, Architecture + Design has announced a landmark gift of $20 million from Indianapolis-based philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi. This is the largest gift in the school's history and coincides with the university's celebration of IU Day. The school will be renamed the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design in recognition of the couple's generosity and longstanding commitment to IU and the arts. The Eskenazis' gift will provide support for student scholarships, faculty development, academic programs, research initiatives and facility support for the school, which offers degree programs in 14 areas of study.
"This outstanding gift will have a transformative impact on the new Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, dramatically enhancing its mission to provide a state-of-the-art education in art, architecture and innovative design for students seeking careers in these areas and in businesses and industries where design is fundamental to their success," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "Indiana University is extremely grateful to Sidney and Lois Eskenazi for furthering our rich and longstanding traditions in the arts and humanities, for helping us contribute to a vibrant culture of building and making across the Hoosier state, and for their remarkable continued generosity to the university."
As part of the gift, a special endowment will be established to fund a new Lois Eskenazi Scholarship for incoming first-year students who are interested in painting. The gift will also support a new "Fund for Excellence" that will be used for scholarships, fellowships, visiting artists and scholars, research funding, equipment, facilities, and other special projects.
This naming gift will also complement a 2016 gift from the Eskenazis to name another signature arts institution on the IU Bloomington campus: the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, one of the foremost university art museums in the nation. The Eskenazis' $15 million gift to the museum, the largest in the museum's history, has supported the complete renovation of the iconic I.M. Pei-designed building, which will reopen this year. The Eskenazis also gave the Eskenazi Museum their collection of nearly 100 works of art, composed primarily of prints by 20th-century European and American masters.
IU has been a national leader in fine and studio arts for more than 120 years. In accordance with a number of the key goals of IU's Bicentennial Strategic Plan, the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design has recently developed several new programs in design and visual inquiry toward ensuring student career success, furthering a strong and creative visual arts culture on the Bloomington campus, and contributing to the building and making of a prosperous and innovative Indiana.
To this end, the school began offering a master's degree in architecture last fall with a primary focus in Columbus, Indiana, an internationally recognized center for architecture. The new J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program is based in the former Republic Newspaper building in Columbus, a nationally recognized historic landmark.
The Eskenazis' gift will be included in the $3 billion For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.
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