Eskenazis Award 'Transformative' Gift to IU

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Both Lois (pictured left) and Sydney (picture right) are Indiana University graduates. Both Lois (pictured left) and Sydney (picture right) are Indiana University graduates.

The Indiana University School of Art, Architecture + Design in Bloomington has received the largest gift in its history. Indianapolis philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi have given $20 million to the school, which will be renamed in their honor. The university says the gift will support student scholarships, faculty development, academic programs, research initiatives and facility support. 

Peg Faimon, founding dean of the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, said the gift will make a transformative impact on teaching and learning.

"The scholarships and fellowships will really allow our students to pursue their dreams, which I know is of utmost importance to the Eskenazis," said Faimon. "In addition, they'll be able to provide things like interaction with the most wonderful artists, designers and scholars from throughout the nation and the world. There are many, many different opportunities that this funding will provide and we all look forward to that wonderful future."

Watch the press conference announcing the gift by clicking here.

As part of the gift, IU will establish a special endowment to fund the new Lois Eskenazi Scholarship for incoming first-year students who are interested in painting. It will also support a new "Fund for Excellence" that will be used for additional scholarships, fellowships, visiting artists and scholars, research, equipment, facilities and other special projects, according to the university.

The Eskenazis have a long history with Indiana University, most recently awarding a $15 million gift in 2016 to what became known as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art on the Bloomington campus, supporting a complete renovation of the building which will reopen later this year. The couple also give the museum nearly 100 works of art for display.

"Sidney and Lois Eskenazi have been extraordinary friends of IU and visionary supporters of art," said Lauren Robel, provost at IU Bloomington. "This gift transforms their profound understanding of the role art plays in making us human into tangible support for the humans who make our art. Lois' own gifts as an artist are so wonderfully honored by the scholarship in her name to support our student painters. This gift will aim the arc of this school's trajectory directly toward the heavens. What a legacy of beauty and humanity it represents."

The gift will be included in the university's $3 billion For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.

Faimon says the gift will make a transformative impact on teaching and learning at the school.
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