Indiana State University Newsroom

McKee family celebrates 90-year connection to ISU with major gift

February 18, 2021

The McKee family, whose connection to Indiana State University spans three generations and nine decades, has donated $250,000 in support of the President’s Scholars program.

In recognition of the gift, ISU’s Board of Trustees on Friday approved the naming of the McKee Family Heritage Lounge in Tirey Hall. Portraits of every past president since ISU’s founding hang on the walls of the lounge.

“The McKee family’s connection to Indiana State University is special,” ISU President Deborah J. Curtis said. “This family has made an impressive mark at ISU, and the naming of the McKee Family Heritage Lounge is a fitting tribute recognizing their generous commitment to grow opportunities for students in the President’s Scholars program.”

Said Dale McKee: “Our gifts are intended to recognize longstanding connection and loyalty to ISU. Each of us has his or her own list of ISU memories, but all of us can trace whatever achievements we have had in our lives to the education that we received at Indiana State. That we can encourage and support some of ISU’s best students with this gift and recognize a connection that dates back nearly 90 years means a great deal to all of us.”

The President’s Scholars program is the university’s most prestigious merit scholarship. It includes full in-state tuition, room, and board.

The gift will create the McKee Family President’s Scholars Academic Experience Fund, supporting fellowships for exceptional students. McKee Fellows will receive support in areas including undergraduate research, creative activity such as artistic exhibitions, internships, residencies, and professional opportunities. 

“Even for our top academic students, access to research, study abroad, and other creative activities important to their success are limited because of personal financial situations,” said Greg Bierly, Dean of the Honors College. “We are extremely grateful to the McKee family for their support of our President’s Scholars program and vision for establishing the McKee Fellows fund.

“The addition of the McKee Fellows program will ensure that more students will reach for the kinds of experiences that will expand their academic experience at ISU and advance their professional development. This support will have a lasting impact on generations of students,” Bierly said. 

Seven members of the McKee family have earned eight degrees at ISU and have served as faculty, staff, and administrators.

The family’s connection to the university began with Clyde Morris McKee, who attended Indiana State Teachers College, becoming an elementary school teacher and administrator in Indiana public schools for more than 40 years.

His son, Dale F. McKee, earned two degrees at Indiana State, later serving as Indiana State’s alumni director and as executive vice president of the ISU Foundation during a career from 1965 to 1998. Dale’s late wife, Nancy, taught in the university’s School of Nursing for more than 30 years, serving in a number of teaching and administrative positions, including acting dean. 

All of Dale and Nancy’s children earned degrees at ISU: Elizabeth McKee, Christopher McKee, and Craig McKee. Craig’s wife, Diann McKee, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at ISU. She has spent her career at ISU and currently serves as Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and University Treasurer.

“The McKee family is synonymous with our University,” said Andrea Angel, Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation.  “They have been ardent supporters of our students in a variety of important University initiatives. This gift from the family will help us expand experiential learning opportunities for students and establish a permanent family legacy on campus for the McKees.”

The first student recipients of the McKee Fellows will be selected in the Spring 2021 semester through a competitive application process within the Honors College.  

Photo of the McKee family at the dedication of the McKee Nursing Center in 2010. Left to right: Craig McKee, Nancy McKee, Dale McKee, Elizabeth McKee, Christopher McKee, and Diann McKee.

Media contacts:

Mark Alesia, Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-3837

(C) 812-229-8020

Dianne Powell, Associate Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-8764

(C) 812-878-2131

Story Highlights

The McKee family, whose connection to Indiana State University spans three generations and nine decades, has donated $250,000 in support of the President’s Scholars program.

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