IU Philanthropy A to Z: B is for …

The letter "B" in a white circle overlays a red-filtered photo of two IU graduates turning the tassels on their mortarboards.

There are thousands of IU causes that you can support through the Indiana University Foundation.

That’s a whole lot of IU programs, projects, campuses, schools, facilities, groups, communities, and individuals benefiting from the generosity of the IU family!

Here we highlight a few of the many ways philanthropy—giving, volunteering, mentoring—impacts Indiana University, its people, and the world.


No IU-related list of “B” words is complete without a shout-out to one of the most enduring Hoosier traditions: basketball. In December 2013, Cindy Simon Skjodt, BA’80, gave the largest gift in IU Athletics history to renovate IU’s Assembly Hall.

An interior shot of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
“I look forward to sitting in this iconic basketball hall for generations to come and watching people share good times, experience winning seasons, and create warm memories like I was lucky enough to enjoy as a young girl coming to games with my father.” — Cindy Simon Skjodt, BA’80. Photo by James Brosher

Today, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall maintains the best qualities of the iconic building while substantially improving the game-day experience for the next generation of IU basketball fans. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the renovated building or brush up on the history of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Bat boxes

A tall, dark gray box affixed to a metal pole
One of three bat boxes installed on IUPUI’s campus by artist Stuart Hyatt. Photo by Liz Kaye

Indianapolis-based artist Stuart Hyatt received a Welcoming Campus grant to build and install bat boxes—which provide shelter to wild bats—across IUPUI’s campus. In addition to pollinating flowers and spreading seeds, the bats provide sounds created by their echolocation for Hyatt to use as audio source material on his new album, Ultrasonic, due out in the spring of 2020.

Support IUPUI’s Welcoming Campus Initiative and ensure that bats, Jags, and all who set foot on campus feel like they belong.


A bequest is a simple, flexible, and versatile way to ensure that Indiana University can continue to impact lives for years to come—without putting a strain on your current financial assets.

By including a bequest to IU in your will or living trust, you automatically become a member of the IU Foundation’s Arbutus Society. Membership comes with a number of special benefits, including invitations to lectures, exhibits, receptions, and an exclusive annual Arbutus Society event.

Bicentennial campaign

Publicly launched in 2013 and culminating on June 30, 2020, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign is already the most successful fundraising campaign in IU history. Thanks to the generosity of over 300,000 IU donors, the campaign has supported more than 4,680 newly endowed scholarships, 190 newly endowed faculty positions, and $900 million in faculty research.

Make a gift to the For All campaign today, and help IU thrive well into its third century.

Black Philanthropy Circle

Two IU students wearing Neal Marshall Black Culture Center stoles over their graduation gowns turn the tassels on their mortarboards
Photo courtesy of Indiana University

Established in 2018, the IU Black Philanthropy Circle (BPC) coordinates programs and supports initiatives to address the educational issues affecting Black communities and strengthen the engagement of Black alumni and friends of the university.

The BPC’s first major collective gift was a contribution to the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy in the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI in support of research on generosity in under-represented communities.

Support Black Philanthropy Circle Diversity Initiatives.

Bot detection

Botslayer is the latest tool created by the Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University in the ongoing struggle against the use of bots to spread misinformation online. The beta version was used by major news and political organizations to monitor possible election interference in the U.S.

Botslayer was made possible in part by funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

Breast cancer research

In 2018, Vera Bradley co-founder Patricia Miller, BS’60, LHD’18, donated $2.5 million to help establish the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. The Center is home to more than 30 physicians and scientists, all working toward finding a cure for a disease that claims the lives of more than 40,000 women each year. In total, the Vera Bradley Foundation has contributed more than $35 million to breast cancer research at the IU School of Medicine.

Have an idea for something that you’d like to see highlighted in this series? Contact the Pride of IU team.

Written By
Ryan Millbern