Professor Emeritus endows $625,000 gift for scholarships, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Professor Emeritus endows $625,000 gift for scholarships, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Paul Kriese

Paul Kriese has endowed one of the largest gifts from a faculty member to Indiana University East and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).

Kriese, professor emeritus of political science, is gifting $625,000 that will be used to fund Honors Program scholarships; Criminal Justice and Social Sciences programs; the Paul Kriese Scholarship for Service Engagement; and the Paul Kriese Humanities and Social Sciences endowed fund. This is in addition to Kriese’s 2005 gift of $70,000 which created the Florence and Richard Kriese Memorial Scholarship in honor of his parents.

IU East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe said the gift illustrates Krieses’ life-long passion for community, civic engagement and support for students.

“Paul has dedicated his professional and personal life to building a better community for everyone,” Cruz-Uribe said. “We are honored that he would provide this gift to ensure that future generations of IU East students will continue to have opportunities to attend college and to be a part of the community through service.”

In the 30 years that Kriese taught at IU East, he emphasized equality, justice and achievement. The gift is a way for Kriese to continue that legacy.

“I wanted to have part of me to remain after I left,” Kriese said. “HSS has been my home for the majority of my working life. HSS has been my home the majority of my life.”

School of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Ross Alexander said, “In his distinguished career as a faculty member at IU East, Dr. Kriese was incredibly dedicated to his students, colleagues, the IU East campus, and the Richmond community. This gift is yet another example of his continued generosity and selfless support of IU East that will directly benefit students for many years to come, creating a lasting legacy.”

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Kriese received his B.A. in American Social History from Iowa’s Coe College in 1967 before attending Buffalo State Teachers College for his M.A. in American Social History in 1969.

Kriese first came to Indiana to attend Purdue University while working on his Ph.D. in Political Philosophy and Comparative Politics in 1977. While at Purdue, he was a visiting instructor for political science and the instructor for the Center for Peaceful Change. Previously, he had also taught political science at Kent State University in 1972 and he was formerly an eighth and ninth grade social studies and history teacher for the Buffalo New York School System in 1968.

In 1985, he moved to Richmond to attend Earlham College and received a M.A. in Peace Studies with an emphasis on religion and politics. It was then that he was approached by Eleanor Turk to instruct a course at IU East. Kriese joined the IU East faculty as an adjunct instructor of political science.

“I wanted to go back to teaching politics,” Kreise said. “Eleanor Turk asked me to teach one course at IU East. This ‘one course’ eventuated into my career. When I began there was one course in politics.”

At the time, there was also just one building at IU East, Whitewater Hall. Within five years of teaching his first course at IU East, he was promoted to an assistant professor of political science.

Kriese was instrumental in developing the political science program at IU East. He served as chair of the department and on several campus committees. From that one course, the program has grown today to include 30 courses and now offers a B.S. in Political Science – including an option for completing the degree online – and a Minor in Political Science.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs TJ Rivard said Kriese has devoted his career to students and to student success.

“His passion for life-long learning stems from his belief that it is an essential component to defending a democratic society,” Rivard said. “His gift is a testament to his faith that education and the liberal arts will give future students the skills to enter the social discourse in a rational, compassionate, and open-minded way.”

Kriese did more than teach political science and democracy. He lived it. And he wanted his students to do the same.

“Students are in charge of their lives,” Kriese said. “But they have to take charge. Education helps in this direction. Democracy begins at the local level and moves up. But democracy can be disabled easily when people think that democracy is self-fulfilling. We need each other; campus and community for both of us to prosper.”

Outside of the classroom, Kriese established the American Democracy Project at IU East and was the advisor for the History and Political Science Club. He brought political speakers to campus, participated in lecture series, and he served on local, state and national committees. He conducted research on politics, democracy, race, gender and hate – which led to published articles and books as well as traveling the world as an expert speaker.

Though Kriese is now retired from teaching, he continues to research. He is currently working on a new book that will focus on African American men of Indiana, somewhat of a sequel to his book on African American women from the state. He continues to be involved as a member of the local NAACP, Townsend Center, the Wayne County Democratic party, and various Quaker organizations associated through his church. This year, Kriese, along with Nancy Green, was honored during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast at the Townsend Center for his service and work in civil rights.

Service and giving is something that Kriese has done throughout his life. It is his pivotal purpose for leaving the endowed gift.

“I hope students will benefit by being able to accomplish more with my monies than they could do otherwise,” Kriese said.

Of this gift, $625,000 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

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

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.

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