Simic Commons Dedication
April 20, 2012
Thank you, Gene (Tempel).
I’m very pleased to be here to help celebrate the dedication of this commons and to say a few words about the enduring legacy that Curt Simic has left at Indiana University.
Curt, of course, began his career at IU as a student leader and president of the IU Student Foundation. After graduation, he served for a time as director of the Student Foundation, and then gained decades of experience serving major universities, public and private, in all parts of the country, before returning to his home state and his alma mater.
Throughout his tenure as president of the IU Foundation, Curt proved himself to be a leader of remarkable energy, commitment, and effectiveness.
He dedicated himself for decades to Indiana University and, even in retirement, continues to serve the institution he loves.
Measuring Curt Simic’s Impact
Much of the impact that Curt has made at Indiana University is very visible.
I know that Tom Morrison will say more about Curt’s contributions to our facilities, but we only need to look around the university to see many facilities made possible, in part, through private funds that Curt played a key role in raising.
Curt also helped to shape Indiana University’s educational future.
His contributions to establishing, expanding, and shepherding scholarship programs like the Wells, Kelley, Metz, Jacobs, Cox, Herbert, Hutton, and Hudson and Holland programs, ensure that Indiana University can continue to provide a world-class education at a reasonable cost to all students.
Curt’s efforts in helping to raise funds for endowed academic positions has allowed the university to recruit and retain world-class teachers and researchers.
During his tenure as its leader, the IU Foundation saw many successes.
The Academic Endowment Campaign for the Bloomington campus, for example, had a $350 million goal but raised $504 million—about 50 percent more.
The Matching the Promise campaign for IU Bloomington, which began under Curt’s leadership and continued under Gene’s, exceeded its goal of $1 billion by more than $144 million.
And, of course, there were many other successful campus and individual project campaigns.
During Curt’s tenure as president of the Foundation, the university’s endowment grew from approximately $215 million to $1.6 billion, IU consistently ranked in the Top 15, among public universities in the U.S. in the market value of its endowment, and the number of annual donors grew from about 60,000 to well over 100,000.
Bringing People Together
These figures only begin to suggest Curt’s impact on Indiana University—and they are not the first things that come to mind when one thinks of Curt Simic.
All who know him understand that Curt brings a genuine warmth, an openness, and enormous enthusiasm to every interaction.
His entire career here was about engaging people in the life of IU and developing in them the same love and affection for the university that he has.
Because of Curt’s leadership, countless alumni and friends now support Indiana University in ways that have helped change it remarkably.
This commons, which will serve as a gathering place, is a very fitting tribute to a man who has done so much to connect people with one another and with the university.
Curt, on behalf of Indiana University, thank you for all that you have done.