Franklin College has announced a $2 million super endowment gift from Indianapolis art patron and philanthropist Douglas L. Tillman. Tillman is a 1970 alumnus of the college and board of trustees member.
“A super endowment is a unique, creative gift instrument and very unusual in higher education,” said Franklin College President Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D. “The sole purpose of its annual income distribution is to fund new endowments forever, each with distinctive funding objectives. This is a gift that will usher continued transformation of the college and help support and provide financial flexibility for the needs of the college now and in the future.”
According to Minar, the gift has both cash and planned giving components and will be transformational by generating income for current opportunities and future endowments in perpetuity. He also believes it helps secure the future of the college by assuring continual endowment growth by the very nature of the gift instrument.
“The board of trustees is tremendously grateful to Doug for this incredibly generous gift,” said chair of the Franklin College Board of Trustees, Christi Fields. “This leadership gift will open new opportunities for other trustees and Franklin College friends to support our institution in meeting its promise to provide students a distinctive brand of career-focused liberal arts and sciences education now and in the future.”
“Doug has come to us with great vision about the future of the college and great understanding of the flexibility that institutions need to prosper,” said Minar. “His gift will not only help create the strongest financial foundation imaginable for the college due to its distinctive structure, but also by its acknowledgment of the needs of the college today and the future.”
Douglas L. Tillman graduated from Franklin College in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and economics. After earning a law degree, he built a successful 33-year career with Eli Lilly and Co., holding executive positions in the corporate personnel and general counsel departments. Tillman, an Indianapolis resident, has served on the Board of Trustees at Franklin College for 27 years and was awarded an Alumni Citation for his outstanding civic engagement and leadership with various central Indiana arts and cultural organizations. Tillman continues to provide financial and leadership support to numerous organizations, a few of which include the Indianapolis Zoo, the Indianapolis Art Center, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Opera Company, United Way, the American Pianist Association and the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis.
“I believe that an innovative and malleable liberal arts and sciences curriculum, as historically provided by Franklin College, continues to be an asset in addressing current and future issues in a civilized world,” said Tillman. “Accordingly, my goal was to make a transformative, significant and lasting gift to better position the college to respond to and support current and future proposals and projects that are innovative and timely when societal changes occur.”
Tillman said he strongly supports Minar’s vision for the college – to be transformational, forward-thinking and innovative – and believes his gift will help support that vision.
The use of future endowments generated by the super endowment will come at the recommendation of the president and/or trustees and must be approved by the executive committee of the board of trustees. The wide range of innovative opportunities include state-of-the-art classroom equipment; promotion of special marketing and/or branding needs; financial aid optimization funds; student opportunity funds for research, travel or emergency needs; faculty development opportunities; and high-profile lectures.
“Doug serves as a role model for current and future donors,” said Minar. “I have an enormous amount of gratitude for his generosity, leadership, insightfulness and vision. His impact on future generations of students will be felt at Franklin College forever,” Minar said.
For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.
(Posted Sept. 6, 2018)
POSTED Sep 13, 2018