Indiana State University Newsroom

Couple pledges $1.22 million in support of ISU’s Be So Bold campaign

September 29, 2022

An Indiana State University alumnus and his wife have pledged more than $1.22 million in support of scholarships and the Be So Bold fundraising campaign.

Jim Pajakowski, a 1982 graduate of ISU, and his wife Sue made an estate gift of $900,000 to fund in perpetuity the existing Michael Grant Pajakowski Endowed Scholarship.

That scholarship was established in honor of the couple’s late son. It will aid students from lower-income areas in Chicago who need financial assistance to continue their education at ISU.

The Pajakowskis also pledged $325,000 over 10 years to support the scholarship endowment.

“We have many blessings, including a quality education that resulted because we had the means, a strong support system, and people that believed in us and encouraged us along the way,” Jim Pajakowski said. “Our gift to ISU is designed to give others some of the same blessings so they can achieve their dreams.” 

Said ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis: “We want to express our sincere appreciation to Jim and Sue Pajakowski as they continue to be significant donors to our ISU Be So Bold campaign. Jim and Sue demonstrate their heartfelt commitment to our work through this gift that will provide scholarship resources to our students for years to come. They are truly an inspiration and we are eternally grateful for their philanthropic generosity.”

To be considered for the award, students must be a current resident of Chicago; have a GPA of 2.0 or higher; be a sophomore, junior, or senior; and show financial need. The scholarship may be renewed if the student maintains a 2.0 GPA.

“ISU is the right institution for our gift because they so often reach students who face significant obstacles and must take a unique path for their success,” the Pajakowskis said. “Those are the students we most want to help.”

The gift is a significant stride forward for the Be So Bold campaign.

"I am consistently impressed by Jim and Sue Pajakowski’s altruism, especially as we launch the Be So BOLD campaign with a $100 million fundraising goal,” said Andrea Angel, Vice President of the Division of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation. “They understand our student population and are dedicated to bettering the lives of Sycamores through thoughtful, life-changing scholarships.”