updated: 6/26/2012 7:51:32 AM
One of the most recognizable supporters of the arts in central Indiana has died. Margot Lacy Eccles served as vice president of community and shareholder relations for Indianapolis-based LDI Ltd. and also handled a number of duties for local philanthropic organizations such as the Indianapolis Symphony Society, Heartland Film Festival and the Eiteljorg Museum. She was 76.
June 26, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Margot Lacy Eccles, vice president of community and shareholder relations and member of the board for LDI, Ltd., and one of central Indiana’s most ardent supporters of the arts, died on Monday, June 25, 2012, surrounded by her family and friends. She was 76.
There will be a celebration of her extraordinary life on Friday, June 29, 2012 at the Hilbert Circle Theater. In celebration and honor, the family requests gifts be made to the Lacy Foundation as directed gifts to the arts.
Mrs. Eccles, affectionately known as "Mrs. E," began her career in 1951 as the switchboard operator for U.S. Corrugated-Fibre Box Company, which would become LDI, Ltd. She worked her way through a variety of positions and was promoted to lead community relations for the firm in 1983. Mrs. Eccles is the granddaughter of the company's co-founder, Howard Lacy.
Mrs. Eccles attended Tufts University and is a graduate of the American Theater Wing of New York City. She also pursued advanced studies in France at the University of Paris (Sorbonne). Since 1976, Mrs. E had helped develop one of the nation’s most outstanding executive leadership programs: the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series (SKL).
Mrs. E's personal commitment to central Indiana also could be seen in her leadership roles as chair of the Lacy Foundation and as a member of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, the Franklin College Board of Trustees, the Indiana Symphony Society, the Spirit & Place Advisory Board at The Polis Center and the Urban Design Oversight Committee. She was chair of the annual Indian Market and Festival at the Eiteljorg Museum and was also a member of the Heartland Film Festival Board of Governors, the Indiana Black Expo Cultural Gala Committee and the Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network Committee.
She created and sponsored the annual "Young Playwrights in Process" program to encourage students from sixth-12th grade to write plays. Her other leadership roles included affiliations with the United Way, Junior Achievement, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, 500 Festival Associates, the Indiana Repertory Theater, Starlight Musicals, the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, the International Center of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
In one of Mrs. Eccles’ most celebrated philanthropic endeavors, LDI announced in March of 2012 a gift of $1.2 million to 16 Indianapolis arts and cultural organizations through the LDI 100th Anniversary Celebration Cultural Partnership Gift Program. In the spirit of Mrs. Eccles’ vision for Indianapolis’ arts and cultural community, the 16 organizations selected were told to “dream big” for projects that would extend cultural arts projects to build bridges across Indianapolis and engage all members of the community, from longtime patrons to new visitors. At the time of the gift announcement, Mrs. Eccles said:
“Because the company was mostly family-owned, family involvement and company involvement were the same thing. It was expected. We were taught that it was our responsibility to give back to the community that gave us such opportunity. We continue this tradition by advising the participants of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Program, now in its 36th year, to give back to their community.”
The Foundation works with known organizations, programs and community leaders that it has developed relationships with over time since establishing the Lacy Gallery at the Indiana History Center in Indianapolis. The foundation also funds the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, administered by the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, which is a formal community leadership program that provides young executives with the knowledge and connections they need to become strong community leaders.
STATEMENT FROM ANDRE B. LACY, Chairman of the Board of LDI, Ltd.
I’m profoundly saddened at the passing of my sister and greatest supporter, Margot. My loss and that of the Eccles and Lacy family is shared by all at LDI, Ltd., by countless friends and colleagues throughout central Indiana and across the country, by patrons and supporters of the arts here in Indianapolis and around the globe, and by all in our community who, like Margot, believe in aspiring and working to make this world a better place for all those who share it and all those who will follow. Margot’s spirit will live on forever in the art and culture of our community, in the work she supported and in the lives she inspired. She will be deeply missed and forever loved.
Source: LDI, Ltd