Being a Hoosier is a Gift #thankstoIUdonors

A student stands in front of a bust of Herman B Wells. The student holds a large picture frame with cream and crimson stripes. A woman in a red blazer snaps his picture.
In the midst of IU Homecoming week, Thank a Donor Day is an opportunity to show gratitude for all that's made possible thanks to IU donors. Photo by Joel Lustre, IU Foundation.

Homecoming is a time of celebration for alumni and friends of Indiana University. It’s also a time of celebration for the university—an opportunity to salute our alumni and say thank you for your support.

Started in 2014, Thank a Donor Day is becoming a beloved part of IU’s Homecoming week traditions.

As the name clearly states, Thank a Donor Day is a day dedicated to saying thanks to those whose generosity helps make the IU experience possible. Students sign thank you cards, learn about the role of philanthropy at IU, and share words of gratitude on social media using the hashtag #thankstoIUdonors.

Students crowd around a table to sign thank you cards to Kelley School of Business donors. In the foreground, a woman in a bright red sweater is writing a note on a large sign that reads: "Show your gratitude. Write a thank-you note to a donor."
Kelley School of Business students crowd around a table to sign thank you cards for donors. Photo by Joel Lustre, IU Foundation.

Countless faculty, students, programs, schools, and partners across campus get involved. In 2018, Thank a Donor Day was celebrated by the IU Student Foundation, Jacobs School of Music, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, just to name a few.

Thank a Donor Day 2018 was also IU’s most festive celebration yet. The entire Bloomington campus was decked out in red (or should we say crimson?) ribbons and bows. These were affixed to buildings, tied around signs, posted outside rooms, and pinned on shirts to identify people, places, and opportunities at IU supported by philanthropy. Hundreds of signs noting facts about philanthropy at IU were also displayed across campus.

Through a glass wall, we see students sitting in a large, brightly lit room identified as "The Shoebox." Outside the room, there is a shiny red bow and a card below it that reads: "Being a Hoosier is a gift. This ribbon identifies people, places, and opportunities at IU that are supported by philanthropy. #thankstoIUdonors."
Students gather in the Shoemaker Innovation Center, known as “The Shoebox,” in the IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. Photo by Joel Lustre, IU Foundation.

More than 100,000 alumni and friends donate to Indiana University each year, supporting thousands of causes across all of IU’s campuses. Specifically on the Bloomington campus, philanthropy is to thank for Showalter Fountain and the iconic Sample Gates. Donors support scholarships, study abroad programs, graduate fellowships, research funding, endowed chairs and professorships, arts and humanities—the list of all that’s made possible by philanthropy could go on and on.

For example, did you know that 69 percent of IU students receive financial aid to support their IU experience?

Did you know that IU Bloomington has more than 20 libraries?

Did you know that there are more than 12,000 trees on campus—many made possible by IU’s tree donor program?

And that’s just a snippet of all that’s made possible thanks to IU donors!

Students walk around Showalter Fountain, which sprays gloriously toward the blue sky. The limestone facades of the Lilly Library and IU Auditorium are in the distance. In the foreground, a sign placed in the ground reads: "Arboretum, Sample Gates, Beautiful Campus, Public Art, Showalter Fountain—a few of the things we all enjoy #thankstoIUdonors."
Thank a Donor Day signs placed around campus noted facts about what philanthropy makes possible at IU. Photo by Terrick Beitvashahi, IU Foundation.

Of course, IU’s gratitude to donors doesn’t stop on Thank a Donor Day. Whether you’re a student, faculty or staff member, grateful patient, or community member, if your life has been enriched by Indiana University, we invite you to share your gratitude. Simply share a post in social media using the hashtag #thankstoIUdonors or complete this form on the IU Foundation website.

Get a feel for what Thank a Donor Day is all about with this quick recap video.

Written By
Andrea Alumbaugh
A native Hoosier, Andrea Alumbaugh is a graduate of IU (BAJ’08) and a senior writer at the IU Foundation.