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Fundraising success rewarded with Chancellor’s Medallion

Advancement Jun 14, 2021
A woman sits on a chair
A woman sits on a chair

KOKOMO, Ind. —  A campus leader whose team raised more than $17 million for Indiana University Kokomo during her eight-year tenure has been recognized with the Chancellor’s Medallion.

Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke presented the award to Jan Halperin, who retired this month as vice chancellor of the Office for University Advancement.

“In my mind, Jan will be remembered as one of the finest advancement professionals ever to work at IU Kokomo,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “She will be dearly missed. She loved her work, and was passionate about our campus.”

She noted that during IU’s five-year Bicentennial Campaign, Halperin and her team were initially assigned a goal to raise $6 million, and surpassed that goal within the first year. The goal was then raised to $13.6 million, which they exceeded.

In addition to money raised for the campaign, Halperin and her team funded 142 new scholarships, four capital projects — including the Student Activities and Events Center — and $700,000 in non-governmental grant support.

Halperin, who plans to continue living in Kokomo after her retirement, was overwhelmed to receive the award.

“To be recognized like this by our chancellor was just a thrill, but also so affirming in the work I’ve been doing, and the work my team has backed me up to do,” she said. “It was a celebration of all of our successes. It felt like a global sense of love and affection to me.”

She and her husband, Kent Kauffman, have three grown children — Louis, Max, and Nina — who were her inspiration for working in university development.

“I saw the impact college education had on my own children,” she said, noting that only about 50 percent of their friends went to college, and many lacked direction as they began their adult lives.

“I felt every child deserves the opportunity to have a college education,” she said. “I knew with my talents and abilities, I couldn’t teach them, but I could raise money to help them on their educational journey. We can change not just their lives, but their families’ lives, through a college education.”

In addition to fundraising, Halperin led efforts to host a centennial exhibition of artwork by Kokomo native Misch Kohn, who built a 60-year career as a pioneer in printmaking.

“The artist’s family was so pleased by the support from the campus, and the interest from the community, that they donated some of his art to the campus,” Sciame-Giesecke said.

Halperin began working at IU Kokomo in 2013, after previously working in fundraising for the American Friends of the Hebrew University, in Chicago, and the Charles Gates Dawes Museum. She had also served as director of development at IU South Bend.

The Chancellor’s Medallion is the highest honor Sciame-Giesecke can give. It is awarded to those who have given distinguished service, given freely of their talents to promote human welfare and community well-being, and served as exemplary role models for students and alumni through their integrity, leadership, and commitment.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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