Indiana State University Newsroom

University dedicates Scott College of Business

September 17, 2010

Indiana State University on Friday (Sept. 17) formally dedicated the Scott College of Business in recognition of a retired businessman who knows firsthand the type of graduates the college produces and the building that will be its new home.

As owner of Terre Haute's Sycamore Agency and then president of Old National Insurance for a total of more than 40 years, Don Scott hired students and graduates of the college's nationally recognized insurance and risk management program.

Scott also made frequent visits to the downtown Terre Haute building that will one day house the college that now bears his name. He regularly walked to the Federal Building to pick up his mail from P.O. Box 443.

Now, thanks to a significant gift from Scott and his wife Susan, and state approval that came just one week ago, work will soon begin on renovating the 1930s-era structure. The former Federal Building will house the Scott College of Business and allow it to better serve its 1,200 students from across Indiana and around the world.

Scott listed several reasons for supporting the college and helping to fund the renovation.

While he is a graduate of Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, he served on the Indiana State University Foundation board for 25 years; he said he "became more attached to things in Terre Haute."

He cited an intense interest in higher education as well as "a keen love for the Federal Building" and its architectural grandeur. He estimated that he walked in and out of the building at least 4,000 times during his business career. Another motivation was his appreciation for the quality of the college's insurance and risk management program, whose May graduates achieved a placement rate of 100 percent.

"The last reason is that, given the opportunity and good fortune, we believe that giving something back to the community is very important. Two years from now, when the renovation is completed, it will be a great day for the College of Business. I also think it was a great decision for Indiana State University to obtain possession of the Federal Building," Scott said.

Nancy Merritt, dean of the college, said "We are proud to be the Donald W. Scott College of Business in recognition of a transformational gift from Don and Susan Scott. The renovation of the Federal Building, which the Scott's gift supports, is designed to better engage our students and faculty with community members and with each other. This will enable us to connect the students in business practices and leadership development."

In addition to national distinction in financial services, the focus of most of Scott's career, Merritt said she "envisions national distinction in other areas of the Scott College through innovative experiential learning for all our students - experiences that engage our students in rich learning and connect our communities of alumni, business and other organizations - in Terre Haute, the state and the nation."

The college holds a distinction that fewer than 25 percent of business schools worldwide can claim - accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB - International, emcee Gerry Dick, an ISU alumnus and Scott College Dean's Executive Council member, said.
The college has tens of thousands of alumni who serve society in such fields as marketing, accounting, insurance, management and finance, he said.

Bob Baesler, a member of the university's Board of Trustees, congratulated the Scotts for being the inspiration for Friday's celebration.

Baesler, also an ISU alumnus and a Terre Haute businessman who employs dozens of Indiana State students and graduates, said he's learned the importance of having first rate facilities in order to be successful in business. The Federal Building renovation made possible by the Scotts will give the college a first-rate facility that will help it build on its already successful track record, he said.

ISU President Dan Bradley referenced the story "Acres of Diamonds" in which "one learns that the resources to achieve all good things are present in one's own community. That's a perfect example of what we are celebrating today with the dedication of the Scott College of Business. Without the ‘resources to achieve all good things' here in our community, as shown by Don and Susan, this project would not be progressing as quickly as needed."

Mackenzie Mack, who holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from the Scott College and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree, told of having "numerous opportunities from caring and attentive faculty, both inside the classroom and out. The mentoring relationships that my fellow students and I have with faculty members, who stay current in business practices and research in their fields, are the key to success of students."

At the conclusion of the dedication, Jack Maynard, ISU provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Merritt presented Scott with a replica of the door to P.O. Box 443 from the post office where he retrieved his mail every weekend for more than 40 years.

"The success and overall efforts of the college have done much to raise the level of awareness of the university in the state and across the nation," Maynard said. "We hope that the dedication and excellent work of our faculty and staff, under the leadership of Dean Merritt, will make you and your family proud as we continue your own legacy of service and dedication to our community."

Photo: - Nancy Merritt (left), dean of the Donald W. Scott College of Business, and Jack Maynard (center), provost and vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State University, present Don Scott with a replica of the door to a post office box from the Terre Haute Federal Building. The gift was in recognition of a gift from Scott and his wife Susan that will help renovate the building to serve as the college's new home. (ISU/Kara Berchem)

Contact: Nancy Merritt, dean, Scott College of Business, Indiana State University, 812-237-2000 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or