IU East business faculty member establishes gift for scholarships, success fund

Indiana University East has announced a $44,000 gift from faculty member and alumnus, Roger Crane.


Roger Crane

Crane, director of the accounting program and lecturer in accounting for the School of Business and Economics, said the IU East campus has been a gift to him.

So giving back is entirely natural – and highly personal.

One of the initiatives honors Becky Schuck, a bright and gifted 21-year-old accounting student of his, who tragically died of a fast-onset illness while attending IU East in November 2014.

“I’d like to help the next generation. I feel very strongly that I want to give back to the school that helped me,” explains Crane. “I want to help young accounting students become successful.”

That help includes scholarships and also providing money for extracurricular activities, such as attending conferences.

“His gift is actually made up of three gifts,” explains Jason Troutwine, vice chancellor for External Affairs.

They are:
•    $25,000 to establish and endow an annual scholarship for accounting students;
•    $5,000 to start the Becky Schuck Memorial Cultural Enrichment Scholarship;
•    $14,000 to start the Accounting Student Success Fund.

Troutwine said that he and Crane had met to discuss a few fundraising ideas to assist the accounting program. A few days after that discussion, Crane decided to make a gift of his own. “He came in and said, ‘I’d like to seed the funds,’” recalls Troutwine. “He had hoped to be doing some fund-raising and learned about the match.”

The IU system currently is offering a dollar-for-dollar match to employees who endow undergraduate scholarships of $25,000 or more.

Crane’s path to attending and teaching at IU East is a unique one.

He was simply looking to retire in 2001, he says, after being a highly successful businessman in Iowa.

“I was lucky enough to have enough (money) not to work again,” Crane says.

But, he was drawn to Richmond by the urgings of a friend who said he needed help for about six months with SaverSystems.

“I ended up working with him at SaverSystems,” he says.

According to its website, “SaverSystems has been a leader (for 25 years) in manufacturing waterproofing solutions, cleaners and restoration products for chimneys, masonry, concrete and wood surfaces.”

After he finished helping at SaverSystems, Crane became involved with local nonprofit work and became convinced that there was a strong need for accounting help in local nonprofits.

Thus, he turned his eyes toward attending IU East.

“I thought: ‘Why don’t I go back to school and start a ministry to help nonprofits with their accounting needs,” he remembers. “At first, it just was to get enough credits to earn a C.P.A. While I was doing that, I became very attached to the school, the students and the faculty here.”

After graduating with a B.S. in in Business Administration with a concentration in public accounting and a minor in economics in 2011, he went on to earn an M.B.A. in Finance and M.S.A. in Accountancy in 2013 at Ball State University. While an undergraduate at IU East, Crane was the Naomi Osborne Scholar for the Commencement Ceremony, the award given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average.

He is thrilled to be working now on the faculty at IU East.

IU East Chancellor Kathy Cruz-Uribe said Crane has a passion for his profession. “Roger is committed to his profession and our students. As a faculty member, he brings real world experiences to the table and, as an alumnus, he understands life as an IU East student. His desire to give back to campus demonstrates his commitment to our students and our campus.”

Crane finds there is more time to get closer to students and fellow educators on a smaller regional campus.

“This is a special group of people who put students first, who care about their successes,” he says.

Crane has a goal of creating enthusiasm for a field that is considered a bit stoic. Schuck was special as an accounting student. The young mother was in the Honors Program and was on the Dean’s and Chancellor’s lists for her academic achievements.

Crane worked with Schuck as a teacher and a mentor. He fondly recalls visiting with her while attending a student leadership conference about two weeks before she died.

“I remember how excited she was and we had a great conversation,” Crane says. “She said, ‘You know, I just love to travel; I want to absorb everything.’ Reflecting on that, what better way to honor her than to make money available for out-of-town cultural travel.”

Crane hopes to grow the travel fund honoring Schuck, which is open to all students.

The other two gifts are aimed at accounting students.

Crane designated $25,000 to be placed in an endowed scholarship that will award a total of $2,250 in scholarships per year to students who have a minimum 3.0 GPA and are members of IU East’s student chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants. The principal amount of the gift will never be touched.

The third gift’s aim is to support students with majors in CPA Accounting or Managerial Accounting.

“It’s a success fund to help in extracurricular activities that will lead to development,” Crane says. “It could be travel to conferences, to earn certifications or for speakers coming in to talk.”

Find out more about IU East and ways you can assist the campus at iue.edu/development.

This gift will count toward the $2.5 billion campaign, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign. The For All campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses: 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. IU East’s campaign goal is $7 million which will help fund a variety of campus initiatives, student scholarships and strategic projects. 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 $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.