Doug Brenneke puts it simply.
It just fits for Belden to help Indiana University East complete its longtime vision of building a vibrant events center that will serve the campus and the community.
That vision is quickly becoming a reality as the center will open in one month.
“A successful IU East is vital for the community, for the area and for business,” said Brenneke, who leads the Belden Research and Development team that is headquartered in Richmond. “That’s important to all of us, and we couldn’t be more excited to see the events center come to fruition.”
And a worldwide leader in communications knows about being important to a community, about being connected in positive ways. Belden designs and manufactures products that transmit data, sound and video signals for numerous applications.
Belden maintains a major presence in Richmond, employing more than 700 at its plant, distribution center, division office and engineering center. That’s the third-highest total in Wayne County, trailing only Reid Health and Richmond Community Schools. Coincidentally, IU East ranks fourth.
Belden has a major behind-the-scenes presence in broadcasting sporting events, including the upcoming Rio Olympics.
“An overwhelming amount of product that goes into that event is made in Richmond,” said Brenneke.
The same presences go for broadcasts of NFL and NBA games, for the World Series and World Cup soccer, for political conventions and for numerous other event platforms.
Belden has branched out into other arenas by acquiring other companies. That includes more active gear and infrastructure for mission-critical signal transmission applications.
“One of the vertical markets important to us is stadiums and venues,” said Brenneke. “It fit for us to help out in any way possible at IU East. It aligned very well with products we supply to similar venues around the world.”
Belden gave a gift of $100,000 in cash, paid over five years, and also provided cable products and prewiring for the IU East Student Events and Activities Center that broke ground in November 2014.
“It’s basically data networking products that will support their internal network,” said Brenneke.
The gift is special for the company and for IU East, representing many years of communications, of working together for a better future.
Former IU East Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar made the initial contact about the gift. “Nasser had a great vision for where he wanted to take IU East and the campus is continuing to develop as a first-choice baccalaureate and master’s institution under current Chancellor Kathy Cruz-Uribe,” Brenneke said.
Paydar came to IU East in 2007 and Cruz-Uribe in 2013.
Most of Belden’s donation requests and fulfillments are typically smaller in scope — such as for community needs or events.
But, this was different, Brenneke said. “Something Nasser stated really stuck with me: ‘Feeding people fish (giving to individual causes) is great, but for this area and community to be more successful, we need to teach more people to fish as a team,” he said.
The Belden team in Richmond includes numerous IU East graduates and parents of students.
In addition, many students from here and within the IU system work each year on internships and as full-time associates with the company.
Belden aims to build on its connections to IU East and hire more grads in the future.
“We want to gain exposure to the pipeline of talent in any way we can,” Brenneke said.
This gift counts toward the $2.5 billion campaign, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign. IU East’s campaign goal is $7 million which will help fund a variety of campus initiatives, student scholarships and strategic projects. Find out more about IU East and ways to assist the campus at iue.edu/development.
For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses including IU Bloomington, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. The campaign will conclude in December 2019 to coincide with IU’s bicentennial year celebration in 2020. To learn more about the campaign, its impact, and how to participate, please visit forall.iu.edu.
Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university. Today, the IU Foundation oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country, with a market value of approximately $1.9 billion. In fiscal year 2015, IU received $359.3 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.