Couple gives ‘inspirational’ gift

Columbus residents endow scholarship,donate to IUPUC initiative

A new scholarship to assist first-generation IUPUC students is one of two financial gifts from a Columbus couple.

The second donation from Gregg and Judy Summerville will establish a program support fund for maintaining priority campus programming, said IUPUC spokeswoman Belinda Allen.

While Allen described the contributions as “substantial,” the dollar amount donated by the couple is not being disclosed.

Gregg Summerville, who has served on the local university’s board of advisers for the past 13 years, said the Summerville Family Scholarship for undergraduate students is being created to assist first-generation students who have special financial need situations.

As part of “For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign,” IU will match the income portion of the endowed Summerville Family Scholarship gift, increasing its impact, university officials said.

The willingness of Indiana University to match the donation “made the gift by us even more attractive,” said Summerville, owner and president of Tecumseh Capital Partners of Columbus since 2006.

The Summerville IUPUC Program Support Fund will be used to maintain priority programming set by IUPUC Vice Chancellor and Dean Reinhold Hill, the Summervilles said.

“This generous donation will allow us to explore innovative programs at IUPUC and provides us flexibility in responding to emerging fields and disciplines,” Hill said.

“When Judy and I made our gift, we wanted to help both students and the community,” Gregg Summerville said. “While IUPUC is a wonderful value in terms of an education, college is nonetheless an expensive proposition for most families. We really wanted to focus on first-generation and special financial needs situations.”

He went on to say that a vibrant college campus is very important to Columbus.

“We in Columbus are proud when our town appears on the list of livability, affordability, etc. Judy and I began to notice that many other cities on those lists had vibrant college campuses. So the second part of our gift is designed to help enhance programs to attract more students from Bartholomew County and surrounding communities. When you consider that IUPUC is on the top of the list as a college choice for Bartholomew County seniors, we hope it helps cement that position for some time to come,” he said.

Gregg Summerville is also a member of the IU Foundation Board of Directors, while Judy Summerville is a founding member of the IU Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council, Allen said.

The couple also serve on the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art National Advisory Board, Allen said.

IU Foundation President Dan Smith described the couple’s past and current contributions as “an inspiration to all.”

Because of these gifts, IUPUC is now well positioned as the university heads into the final three years of its $4 million capital campaign, Allen said.

Campaign priorities include scholarship support, programs that cultivate a stronger workforce, attracting and retain top educators, and updated facilities to support innovative approaches to learning, she said.

About the campaign

The IUPUC $4 million capital campaign is entering its final three years. Among the capital campaign priorities are:

  • Scholarship support for students
  • Programs that cultivate a stronger workforce
  • Endowed faculty positions that attract and retain top educators
  • Updated facilities to support innovative approaches to learning

The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign is continuing on all IU-administered campuses, including the Bloomington campus, IUPUI, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast. The campaign concludes in December 2019 to coincide with IU’s bicentennial celebration in 2020.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.