News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 19, 2009

ISU receives ‘one of the largest philanthropic gifts from a private individual in school history’

By Sue Loughlin

TERRE HAUTE — Don Scott didn’t graduate from Indiana State University, but he and his wife, Susan, are making a “significant” contribution that will be used to help renovate the future home of the ISU College of Business.

In recognition of the generous donation, the ISU board of trustees on Friday will consider a recommendation to name the university’s College of Business the Donald W. Scott College of Business.

The ISU Foundation is making the recommendation. The gift “is one of the largest philanthropic gifts from a private individual in school history,” said Gene Crume, foundation president. The announcement comes as the university prepares to launch the public phase of its comprehensive March On! fundraising campaign.

Donald W. Scott spent four decades in the insurance industry with the Sycamore Agency, now Old National Insurance.

At the time of his retirement in 2003, he was chairman and CEO of Terre Haute’s Old National Insurance.

Much of the Scotts’ gift will be used to renovate what has been known as the Federal Building, which will become the new home for the Scott College of Business.

The former Federal Building at Seventh and Cherry streets housed the U.S. Post Office, federal offices and courtroom. “The courtroom is spectacular,” said Scott, who noted that it will make an impressive space for speakers, presentations and other campus-wide events.

The Scott College of Business is expected to move from its current home in Statesman Towers to the Federal Building in fall 2012.

Neither Scott nor his wife graduated from ISU, but they are longtime supporters of the university and Don Scott is a long-standing member of the ISU Foundation’s board of directors. The Scotts also are lifelong Terre Haute residents.

Donald Scott viewed the donation as “an opportunity to give back to his community and to this institution,” said Steve Brown, the foundation’s vice president for development.

Scott also has had a special interest in the Federal Building and wants to ensure “that it can continue being a very important part of this community,” Brown said.

While the family has asked that the amount of the donation not be disclosed at this time, university naming guidelines suggest that a gift would be at least seven figures.

Nancy Merritt, dean of the College of Business, said the Scott family “has been supportive of the Terre Haute community and university for a long time. The College of Business is thrilled to be able to move forward with the generosity and the confidence that the Scotts are showing in us.”

Last year, Risk Management magazine recognized ISU’s Insurance and Risk Management program as one of eight distinctive programs in the country.

“The insurance program is one example of where the Scott College of Business may not be the biggest in the nation, but it could be the best. I hope we can help find those niches for Indiana State,” Scott said.

Knowing how to build a business successfully is nothing new to the Scotts. Susan’s great grandfather, John A. Templeton, emigrated from Scotland to work in Indiana coal mines. He went on to own mines himself with the founding of Templeton Coal Company Inc., still in business today in Terre Haute.

Don’s dad started out at Home Packing Co. wrapping bacon as a teenager and worked his way up to being president and majority owner. Being third- and fourth-generation Terre Hauteans and having ties to the business world helped draw the Scotts to this opportunity at Indiana State.

Crume said that a major gift such as the Scotts’ tends to inspire others to give as well. “There truly is an amazing ripple effect,” Crume said.

ISU has secured $10 million in state funding through fee replacement to renovate the Federal Building. Completing the renovation and furnishing the facility calls for an additional $11 million in private support, officials say.

The board of trustees will consider the foundation’s naming recommendation at 10:30 a.m. Friday in the Tirey Hall State Room.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or