Indiana State University Newsroom

Gift of $580,000 will create two endowed scholarships at Indiana State University

May 11, 2021

Indiana State University has received a $580,000 gift to create two endowed scholarships, one for students from Brazil, Indiana, and another for students whose parents don’t have a college degree.

Bob and Lisa Jerry have created the Roy M. and Dorothy R. Jerry Scholarship and the Jerry Family Scholarship as part of their estate plans. Bob Jerry, who had a 38-year career as a law school professor and dean, received ISU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992. 

“ISU is my family’s university,” Bob Jerry said. “Most of my relatives who attended college graduated there, and my parents and a great-aunt were faculty. But more than that, Lisa and I believe it is very important to lend a hand to young people who can’t afford to attend college or who are denied opportunities because of barriers society throws at them. The first-generation scholarship concept is one of the best ways to address those disadvantages and inequities.”   

The Roy M. and Dorothy R. Jerry Scholarship will be established in memory of Bob’s uncle and aunt to support students who are from Brazil, Indiana.  The Jerry Family scholarship will be for students whose parents don’t have a college degree.

“Lisa and I built our estate plan to essentially ‘give back’ some generous inheritances we received by imagining what our parents, and an uncle and aunt also, might have done with those assets,” Bob Jerry said.

Andrea Angel, Vice President of Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation, expressed gratitude for the generosity of Bob and Lisa Jerry.

“Their support is vitally important to the future of our University and the continued success of our students,” Angel said. “This estate gift will enhance our commitment to serve our students, especially those who are the first in their family to earn a college degree.”

Said Jason Trainer, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management: “Scholarships are fundamentally important for our students. For many students, achieving a degree is not possible without additional financial support, and donor-funded scholarships make all the difference.”

Bob Jerry graduated magna cum laude from ISU in 1974, majoring in political science and economics. He went on to law school at the University of Michigan. Jerry practiced law before following in the footsteps of his father with a career in academia.

His father, Robert Jerry, was a faculty member in the ISU Bayh College of Education, and his mother, Marjorie Jerry, was a faculty member in what was then called the Home Economics Department.

With a research and teaching specialty in insurance law, Jerry retired in September 2019 as the Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed Professor-Emeritus at the School of Law at the University of Missouri.

He served as the Dean of the University of Florida Levin College of Law for 11 years and held faculty appointments at the University of Kansas, where he was also a dean, and the University of Memphis.

“We hope that the financial support will make it possible for young men and women to be able to obtain college degrees, have successful careers and make meaningful contributions to their communities and to society,” Bob Jerry said, “and then eventually themselves give back to ISU so that the opportunities they had will be offered to the generations that follow them.”

Photo of Robert and Marjorie Jerry, who received Master’s degrees in 1951, on the steps of Normal Hall. Both would later become ISU faculty members.