Surprise $500,000 Gift in Fort Wayne

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A renowned Indianapolis cardiologist who died last month has given $500,000 to the Fort Wayne Park Foundation. Dr. Suzanne Buckner Knoebel grew up in Fort Wayne. August 13, 2014

News Release

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners announced a $500,000 bequest from the estate of renowned Indianapolis cardiologist Dr. Suzanne Buckner Knoebel. The endowment was made to the Fort Wayne Park Foundation, to be used for the programming and maintenance of Buckner Park.

Dr. Knoebel was raised in Fort Wayne and was a woman ahead of her time. After graduating in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in international relations, she worked a few years before realizing that she wanted to make a difference in the world. She returned to the university environment, and graduated from the IU School of Medicine in 1960. Dr. Knoebel remained at IU for her internship, residency and fellowship in cardiology. After joining the IU faculty in 1964 she quickly became a leader in cardiology, research and education. She had many awards and honors through her life, but she is most known as the first female president of the American College of Cardiology.

Buckner Park on Bass Road and was purchased from Marie Buckner in 1969. During the ensuing decades it served the community as public farm land, military training ground, as well as a variety of other uses. Today it offers a very popular playground, sprayground, and shelter on about 15 acres. The rest of the 200 acres remains undeveloped.

“Every month the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department receives donations – large and small – to support and improve the parks that we have. Think Foster, Kreager, Franke, Salomon, McMillen – and Buckner! The list goes on with the names of generous individuals who wanted the citizens of Fort Wayne to have an astounding park system,” said Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll. “We’re fortunate to have a Park Foundation to support and serve as a custodian for donations. Anyone interested in creating a bequest or making a donation can call us at 260-427-6024 or go online at www.fortwayneparks.org.”

Source: The Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners