DPU campaign tops $300 million

Sunday, March 12, 2017

“The love alumni, parents and friends of DePauw University have for this institution is apparent, intense and transformative,” DePauw President D. Mark McCoy in announcing that DPU has surpassed its original goal of $300 million in gifts and commitments to The Campaign for DePauw.

The campaign was formally launched in October 2014 and now totals $300,832,027.

Campaign co-chairmen R. David Hoover (Class of 1967) and Sarah Reese Wallace (Class of 1976) stress that, although the original target has been eclipsed 23 months early, the fundraising effort will continue.

“We are thrilled with the progress and pace of this campaign” said Wallace. “However, these are challenging times for higher education, and we are confident the momentum can continue and help to build an even stronger foundation for DePauw’s future.”

Three recent and significant gifts pushed the campaign over its initial goal:

-- Trustee Justin Christian and Darrianne Howard Christian, both Class of 1995, have committed an additional $500,000 to name and build the Justin and Darrianne Christian Center for Diversity and Inclusion on the DePauw campus. This additional gift brings their commitment to the project to $1 million and joins that of other donors to construct a new building that will house the former Association of African American Students and Dorothy Brown facilities.

-- DePauw also received a $1 million gift to transform the university’s campus farm and fund a nationally-recognized sustainability program. The Ullem Family Campus Farm and Center for Sustainability has been funded and endowed by Scott Ullem (Class of 1989) and Beth Daley Ullem and will be located near the athletic fields, providing easy access to the main campus and surrounding community.

-- Two Elkhart entrepreneurs – who played for legendary DePauw football coach Nick Mourouzis – and their spouses, are teaming to renovate the press box at Blackstock Stadium. Todd Cleveland (Class of 1990) and Melissa Cleveland together with Trustee Scott Welch (Class of 1982) and Kimberlee Welch have committed $500,000.

The new 10,000-square-foot Justin and Darrianne Christian Center for Diversity and Inclusion will be built on the west side of campus north of the Richard E. Peeler Art Center at the corner of Hanna and Jackson streets. It is scheduled for completion in the fall.

“My family and I see this as the latest addition to what is already an engaging and diverse experience at DePauw,” Justin Christian said. “This new facility will provide a dedicated gathering place for not just its members but for students of all backgrounds to learn about each other and more importantly discover their shared experiences.”

Justin Christian graduated with a major in computer science and a minor in rhetoric and interpersonal communication. Justin is the CEO and founder of BCforward, one of the largest IT consulting organizations in the Midwest. Darrianne Howard Christian graduated with a major in computer science. She earned an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Darrianne is on hiatus from a successful career to focus on the couple’s four daughters. She serves on the Park Tudor Parent Council and the boards of the Central Indiana Community Foundation and Indianapolis Museum of Art.

We are thrilled to help strengthen the university and affirm our family values regarding the natural environment and sustainability,” Scott and Beth Ullem said of their gift. “We are committed to supporting the best liberal arts-based sustainability and farming education in the nation.”

This new investment is aimed at supporting holistic connections between the farm and the university’s academic mission while providing opportunities for agriculture experimentation and a more comprehensive sustainability program. Building construction is scheduled to begin this summer.

Scott graduated magna cum laude, earning a degree in political science at DePauw and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is chief financial officer of Edwards Lifesciences Corp. Beth earned a B.A. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Beth is a nationally recognized governance expert for patient safety and quality. Scott and Beth own a cattle and crop farm in Iowa that has been in the Ullem family since it was established in 1843.

The press box at Blackstock Stadium was built in 1941 when technology played no role in game-day operations. Today, both teams have multiple coaches in the booth providing information to coaches on the sidelines along with staff broadcasting games on the radio, television and online, as well as accommodations for writers, reporters and sports information personnel. Expanding the square footage of the press box and modernizing its technological capabilities will enhance what DePauw is able to offer.

“We are so thankful to both Todd and Missy Cleveland and Scott and Kim Welch for their generosity,” stated Stevie Baker-Watson, associate vice president for campus wellness and director of athletics and recreational sports. “Both couples understand the tremendous work ethic of both our athletics communications group and our coaching staff on game day and wanted to provide them with an opportunity to worker “smarter” by increasing space and access to technology. Blackstock Stadium is a wonderful venue; however, the press box is showing its age (76 years), and it’s time for a refresh. We are thrilled for these gifts and look forward to the project’s completion this fall.”

Todd Cleveland earned a degree in economics from DePauw in 1990 and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega. He is CEO of Patrick Industries Inc. Missy Cleveland is a 1990 graduate of Purdue University School of Nursing. The Clevelands’ son Tanner is a member of DePauw’s Class of 2020.

Scott Welch earned a degree in psychology and was a member of Sigma Nu. He is CEO of Welch Packaging Inc. Kimberlee Welch studied at Purdue University. This is the Welches’ third gift to support DePauw athletic facilities, following their $5 million gift to create the 16,000-square-foot Welch Fitness Center dedicated in 2014 and an earlier gift to light the soccer field. The Welches are parents of Brock ’10, Lindsay and Emily ’14.

“These gifts, alongside the many others that have brought us to this point in the campaign, offer an inspiring commitment to the value of a transformative liberal arts education,” President McCoy said. “DePauw’s ability to offer a world-class education -- both in and out of the classroom -- is a direct result of the investment of our benefactors. We are able to enhance the student experience immeasurably thanks to the alumni and friends who support our mission in this way. We are eternally grateful.”

“DePauw’s alumni, parents and friends have been incredibly supportive, and we never want to take that generosity for granted,” noted David Hoover, who co-chaired The Campaign for DePauw. “We have important work still ahead and know that the security of DePauw’s future and a relevant and life-changing education lies in the balance. There is much work yet to do.”

President McCoy and campaign leadership will determine formal next steps for the campaign in the coming months.

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