Announcement of the naming of the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design

Peterson Room, Showalter House

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

IU President Michael A. McRobbie announces the landmark gift from Lois and Sidney Eskenazi. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

Announcing a landmark gift to the IU School of Art, Architecture + Design

And let me take this opportunity to extend, on behalf of Indiana University, our most sincere thanks to all of the alumni, faculty, students, staff, and friends of IU, who are helping to make this fourth annual IU Day such a resounding success! Your energy, enthusiasm, and commitment are infectious, and you are all making a wonderful contribution to the success of Indiana University as we rapidly approach our Bicentennial Year, now only 81 days away!

I am very pleased to welcome a member of the Indiana University Board of Trustees who has joined us today. Please join me in welcoming Trustee MaryEllen Bishop.

I also want to welcome those who are joining us via the Internet for what is a truly historic occasion for Indiana University, and a major milestone for one of IU’s newest schools.

This afternoon, then, I am delighted to announce that philanthropists and IU alumni Sidney and Lois Eskenazi have made an extraordinarily generous gift of $20 million to the Indiana University School of Art, Architecture + Design.

I am also very pleased to announce that in recognition of the Eskenazi’s generosity and their longstanding commitment to IU and the arts, the school will be renamed, by approval of the Trustees of Indiana University, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, effective immediately.

Their generous gift, the largest in the history of the school, will support student scholarships, faculty development, and various academic programs in the school. It will also help provide additional facilities for the school.

As part of the gift, a special endowment will be established to fund a new Lois Eskenazi Scholarship for incoming first-year students who are interested in painting, a great passion of Lois', and a medium in which she is very accomplished. The gift will also support a new "Fund for Excellence" that will be used for scholarships, fellowships, visiting artists and scholars, research funding, equipment, facilities, and other special projects.

Further exciting details concerning this gift will be announced in coming months.

A legacy of generosity: Sid and Lois Eskenazi

Sid and Lois Eskenazi are, of course, among the state of Indiana’s greatest philanthropic leaders. They are renowned for their historic gift—the largest ever to a public hospital in the United States—that led to the construction of the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campuses in Indianapolis.

They have also been great philanthropic supporters of Indiana University for many years dating right back to 1970, when Sid first established a scholarship fund. Since then, hundreds of students have benefited vitally from scholarship aid funded by the Eskenazis. Sid and Lois have also generously supported the arts and art students through their support of IU’s Herron School of Art and Design on the Indianapolis campus. The home of the Herron school, Eskenazi Hall, is, of course, named in their honor.

In 2016, I had the great pleasure of announcing that Sid and Lois had made another extremely generous gift of $15 million for the extensive renovation and enhancement of the interior spaces and galleries of the IU Art Museum in Bloomington, which now also bears their name, and which will re-open later this year. In addition to this gift the Eskenazis also gave the Eskenazi Museum their collection of nearly 100 superb works of art, composed primarily of prints by 20th-century European and American masters.

On behalf of Indiana University, I want to offer our most sincere thanks to Sidney and Lois Eskenazi for their extraordinary generous gift in support of the school.

Their generosity will touch the lives of countless students, faculty, and staff. And it will have a transformative impact on the mission of the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, a school that is providing a state-of-the art education in art, architecture and design and is helping to build a vibrant culture of building and making across the Hoosier state.

All of us are profoundly grateful.