Indiana University East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe and Professor of History Eugene Cruz-Uribe want to honor the support and heritage of their families by establishing an endowed $100,000 scholarship.
The scholarship will be named in honor of their parents, Gloria and Joseph Allwarden and Lillian and Antonio Cruz-Uribe, who firmly believe that higher education is the key to a better life.
Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs John Applegate said, “This is a remarkable gift in so many ways: it reflects generosity, leadership, commitment to IU East, appreciation for those who have helped along the way, and a passion for education. IU is deeply grateful to Gene and Kathy.”
The gift will be matched by IU President Michael McRobbie’s matching gift program that encourages endowed gifts to, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign. The program matches endowed scholarship gifts of $25,000 or more given by current or former IU faculty and staff or $50,000 or more for friends of the University.
Angie Dickman, IU East Board of Advisors chair, said the gift will benefit the community by supporting students for years to come.
“This gift shows one thing that the Cruz-Uribes do best – lead by example,” Dickman said. “Their gift sets the example for our entire community that higher education is valuable and worth investment with our time and treasure. The Cruz-Uribes are doing their part to allow future leaders to achieve their dreams, and we all thank them for their generosity and vision.”
The Cruz-Uribes said both sets of parents valued education for all of their children and encouraged each to attend college; Kathy has five siblings while Gene has six. Kathy’s father and siblings all earned a baccalaureate degree, and then one went on to earn a J.D., two earned master’s degrees and one earned a master’s and a Ph.D. On Gene’s side of the family, his siblings also all earned undergraduate degrees as well as postgraduate degrees including four master’s degrees, one M.D., and three Ph.Ds.
Gene Cruz-Uribe is a first-generation college student. For his family, he said, there was never a question that he or his siblings would attend college.
“Growing up, we were poor but it was just assumed that we were going to college,” Gene Cruz-Uribe said. “It was just something everybody was going to do.”
In addition to recognizing the encouragement they received from family, the Cruz-Uribes also want to honor their heritage by supporting the spirit of immigration that is so central to American values. They believe this can be achieved through higher education because it leads to a stronger future for individuals and their communities.
In Kathy’s case her ancestors originally came from Italy, Germany and Ireland, while Gene’s came from Norway, Germany and most recently, Mexico. All of them benefitted from the American experience and Kathy and Gene wish to extend that possibility for others new to the American way of life.
“Our families came from many different countries,” Kathy Cruz-Uribe said. “We know that people have also come to this community from all over. We really wanted to provide this opportunity for IU East students. They may have the will to get a degree, but they may not have the means,” she said.
Gene Cruz-Uribe added that the Hispanic population is growing in the Wayne County area and they want to be able to help those students earn a college degree.
The Cruz-Uribes first moved to Richmond, Ind., in July 2013 when Kathy was named the sixth chancellor at IU East. They are now in their fourth year at IU East.
The Cruz-Uribes say that they give because they believe in the campus’ mission to challenge students to grow intellectually and personally in a supportive and scholarly environment.
“This is more than a job for us; it’s a calling. If you believe in the mission it’s a really good way to give back to the community,” Kathy Cruz-Uribe said. “IU East has so many first generation students. We’re very interested in supporting those students. We’re committed to IU East and to the mission.”
Lizzi Miller, president of the Student Government Association and a biochemistry major, said students appreciate those who give toward scholarships.
“As a student at IU East who relies on scholarships, I am elated to hear about the generous gift from the Chancellor and Professor Gene Cruz-Uribe,” Miller said. “I always pride our university on having that wholesome family feel with the most supportive administrators, faculty, and staff around. It’s truly wonderful to attend a university with so much campus and community support—both literal and financial. Without scholarships like this, the college experience would not be possible for a lot of deserving individuals.”
In August 2016, the Cruz-Uribe’s announced a $50,000 gift in support of the Student Events and Activities Center. The center is the fifth building on campus. The center promotes student success through a comprehensive offering of programming in health and wellness, physical education, athletics, student activities and special events.
To recognize their generosity, the campus will name a classroom located in Springwood Hall the Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe and Eugene Cruz-Uribe Interactive Classroom.
“We were happy to support the Student Events and Activities Center but now we want to support student scholarships,” Kathy Cruz-Uribe said.
This gift will count 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 in excess of $1.9 billion. In fiscal year 2016, IU received $360.9 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.