IU East library director establishes endowment for service-learning scholarships

Today Indiana University East announced that library director, Frances Yates, and her husband, Sean, gave a $58,000 gift in support of scholarships for students at IU East who are engaged in service-learning activities.


Frances Yates Palladium-Item Photo by Joshua Smith

Yates knows the power of gift-giving, of helping make it easier for future students to find their positive pathways to success. She sees the connections up close every day in her role as library director and as faculty liaison to Indiana Campus Compact, and the Center for Service-Learning at IU East.

So, it was natural for her and husband, Sean, to step up and pledge an estate gift of $58,000 that will help fund future scholarships for IU East students that are actively engaged in service activities.

With a dollar-for-dollar match from the IU system, the endowment should eventually pay out more than $5,200 per year to deserving students.

“One of my core beliefs is that service enhances who we can be as individuals and it promotes positive interactions that benefit individuals and communities,” Yates says. “The choice to give to Indiana University is in large part due to the reality of these benefits.”

The gift also reflects her own positive experiences with Indiana University. She earned two graduate degrees at IU Bloomington and was an adjunct faculty member at IU Northwest.

The Eva and Samuel Weinstein Service Engagement Scholarship is a salute to Yates’ parents.

The planned gift represents her fervent belief in student service. “In Judaism, there is a concept called tikkun olam, Hebrew for the concept ‘to repair the world,’” Yates says. “My parents lived their daily lives adhering to the idea that every action has an impact, whether positive or negative. Each person can be empowered to take positive action in the pursuit of social justice.”

The positive actions she learned from her parents include a wide range of activities, from being an advocate for education to serving on boards, from volunteerism to serving on legislative forums, from mentoring “to much more,” she says. “My father was a high school physics teacher and my mother was a school secretary, so education and service were a large focus of our lives.”

The estate gift was initiated by Frances and Sean Yates, says Vice Chancellor for External Affairs Jason Troutwine. Donors sometimes honor parents or someone significant in their lives with endowments.

“It’s the ultimate gift,” Troutwine says. “It’s part of saying thank you to someone instrumental in shaping who you are. We are honored to be part of that process.”

To encourage endowed giving to the campaign, IU President Michael McRobbie announced a matching gift program for new endowed scholarship of $50,000 and more.

IU East Chancellor Kathy Cruz-Uribe said gifts such this demonstrate the commitment faculty have to the IU East campus and its students.  “I know Frances was very excited to make this gift and for it to be matched through the President’s program. Gifts such as this are very forward thinking and are certain to make a significant difference in the lives of our students. Our faculty and staff truly care about our campus and this is one more example of their dedication.”

What the Yates’ gift eventually will do is set a principal amount that will never be touched and will earn an average of about 4.5 percent per year (9 percent with the match) in interest. The scholarship is based on those earnings each year.

There is a strong possibility the principal amount and scholarship amount will increase.

“Since my gift to Indiana University is in the form of a percentage of my assets, I do anticipate that as I continue working, that amount will grow,” Yates says. “I believe that planned giving is important to ensure that one’s assets go to the interests and causes one values most. For me, that is education and service, which in turn helps make the world a better place.”

Planned gifts are important for ensuring that IU East will be a better place for many decades to come, Troutwine believes: “It’s a demonstration of faith in our campus. We are very thankful Frances and Sean have chosen to include IU East in their philanthropic plan. Their gift will make a difference on this campus and in our community.”

Yates often hears from students about the power of service learning: “I am continually reminded of the vital impact of service as I read reflections by our students about what the service experience means to them,” she says.

“It goes beyond academic learning, and can influence how they perceive the world,” Yates says.

The scholarship criteria for undergraduate students will include:
– being actively engaged in service activities benefitting others;
– having a minimum 3.0 grade point average;
– participating in service through the Center for Service Learning at IU East.

Yates said she knows on a personal level how much earning a scholarship can help a financially struggling student. “Having worked several part-time jobs while earning my undergraduate degree at a regional campus, I understand the challenges of time and funding needs,” she says.

“My hope is that the Eva and Samuel Weinstein Scholarship will help support students who are committed to service learning as part of their education and provide them the flexibility to devote the time needed to that endeavor.”

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.