Indiana State University Newsroom

University Advancement announces 2020 philanthropy honorees

November 18, 2020

Indiana State University’s Division of University Advancement has announced its 2020 philanthropy honorees. The March On! Award is the most prestigious award presented by University Advancement and honors transformational philanthropy to Indiana State. The individuals and businesses recognized with the award are Judy Brett of Terre Haute, Ind.; Jim and Sue Pajakowski of Chicago; Barbara and Laurence Passmore of Georgetown, S.C., and Esko Graphics of Miamisburg, Ohio.

“We appreciate all of our donors, whose generosity and investment in our students means so much to Indiana State University,” President Deborah J. Curtis said. “The March On! Award winners have impacted many lives with their gifts, and helped propel this university to new heights.”

Said Andrea Angel, Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation: "Even though we are not hosting our traditional gathering this year due to COVID-19, we are proud to celebrate the generosity of our donors. While we are apart, it is important that we celebrate our donors and their bold support of ISU.”

Said Buffy Boulet, chair of the ISU Foundation Board of Directors Development Committee: “Through their generosity, these honorees demonstrate their belief in ISU’s enduring success in transforming students’ lives. This sort of philanthropic support helps put ISU on a path to continuing and growing its mission for decades to come.”

Judy Brett: Judy has been a donor to the university for more than three decades. In October, she made a gift to name the second floor of Indiana State’s Science Building after her late husband, Dr. William “Bill” Brett, who served the institution for 57 years as a faculty member in Science and as an emeritus professor. The gift is in support of Dr. Brett’s passions, research and teaching at the undergraduate level. It created an endowment to support the Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) program, which is housed in the Dr. William “Bill” Brett Center for Science Research. SURE, a 10-week summer program open to all ISU undergraduates, involves students engaging in research with a faculty mentor. 

Jim and Sue Pajakowski: The Pajakowskis are ardent supporters of ISU, giving to the institution for more than 30 years. In 2019, the couple established an endowed scholarship in memory of their son to support ISU students from Chicago. The Michael Grant Pajakowski Bridge the Gap Scholarship provides needed funding students helping students progress towards degree completion.

Barbara and Laurence Passmore: The Passmores dedicated their careers to ISU, serving as faculty in the Bayh College of Education and the College of Health and Human Services until their retirement in 2004. Their commitment to serving Indiana State includes the establishment of an endowed scholarship supporting graduate students pursing degrees in the College of Health and Human Services. In addition, the couple established the Passmore Family Permanent Art Collection to support works of art through ISU’s Health and Human Services building.

Esko Graphics: Esko, a global supplier of integrated hardware and software for the packaging, label and wide format sectors, made a $1.2 million in-kind gift to Indiana State’s packaging engineering technology program during the Fall 2019 semester. The company’s support included annual licensing for its design and production software platforms that provide access for students to work with a product portfolio that develops 9 out of 10 retail packages.

“I have had the pleasure of working with each of our honorees,” Angel said. “Each has a unique passion and interest in our University and set a profound example for others in how giving makes a difference for our campus.”

Additionally, new inductees into the university’s lifetime giving societies were recognized for their generosity.

“Our giving societies represent significant philanthropic contributions to our university,” Angel said. “We are humbled and inspired by the alumni, friends and corporate partners who continue to make supporting our students a priority in their giving.”

Book and Torch Society

New members of the Book and Torch Society are recognized for their dedication to the growth and success of the university. The donors are inducted at the Knowledge, Inspiration and Truth levels in recognition of a lifetime of giving to the institution.

The charter members of this elite society were first recognized by the foundation in 2007. Since then, the Book and Torch Society has grown to more than 1,000 donors, including those dating back to the inception of the university.

The 2020 Book and Torch Society inductees:

---Knowledge Level ($100,000 - $499,999): Susan and Norman Abazoris; Steve and Gloria Bailey; Bob and Lynn Bowen; Cincinnati North FDAF, Inc.; Charles Justice; Jim and Sue Pajakowski; Edward Pease; Phyllis Perry; Norma and George Purvis; Sackrider & Company; Schmidt Associates; Mary Kay and Lee Sommers; and York Automotive Group

--Inspiration Level ($500,000 - $999,999): EAC Product Development Solutions

---Truth Level ($1 million or more): Esko Graphics 

1865 Society

The 1865 Society honors those individuals who understand the importance of providing for the future of Indiana State. This society recognizes individuals who have included Indiana State in their financial estate planning to leave an impactful legacy.

New members inducted into the 1865 Society: Lucky and Susan Abernathy; Bruce and Linda Baumgartner; Pam and Chuck Blesch; Paul and Susan Chaney; Seth Cohen; Melinda Emery; and Teri Stockham.

Cornerstone Society

The Cornerstone Society was formalized in 2019 to recognize donors who invest in the University’s endowment. The endowment provides a solid foundation for sustained growth and success.

During the 2020 fiscal year, more than $2.6 million in donor gifts were contributed to Indiana State’s endowment. The new endowment funds created at the university: Susan Dauberman Abazoris Scholarship; Jim and Kay Cruse Abbott Scholarship; Dr. William “Bill” Brett Center for Science Research Endowment; Jan Meyer and Gerald W. Cockrell Scholarship; Coleman-Hudson Endowed Professorship for Insurance and Risk Management; Dr. Max E. Douglas Servant Leadership Scholarship; Laurie and John Heintz Scholarship; Robyn R. and Joseph J. Lugar Honors College Social Work Scholarship; Sandy and Bernie Miller Endowed Education Scholarship; Michael Grant Pajakowski Bridge the Gap Scholarship; Michael L. Phillips Student Emergency Endowment; Dr. Donald Reed Endowed Scholarship; Rick H. Spear Safety Management Scholarship; Sycamore Alumni Legacy of Change Endowment; Tabco – Tom and Dotty Bilyeu Bridge the Gap Scholarship; Yang Family Art Scholarship; and Steven D. Zink Excellence in History Scholarship.


Story Highlights

Indiana State University’s Division of University Advancement has announced its 2020 philanthropy honorees. The March On! Award is the most prestigious award presented by University Advancement and honors transformational philanthropy to Indiana State.

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