KOKOMO, Ind. – The Community Foundation of Howard County sets the example, making the initial gift to Indiana University Kokomo’s campaign for the Student Activities and Events Center.
“Our board members are excited to support IU Kokomo’s growth in the community and the region,” said Greg Aaron, foundation president. “With the Student Activities and Events Center, IU Kokomo offers a complete campus experience for its students. The facility will also enrich the community with cultural, educational and athletic events.”
When making the gift at the beginning of fund raising, the board also wanted to inspire others by making it a dollar-for-dollar matching gift, up to $100,000.
“We wanted our gift to be a source of encouragement for other donors to give to the project,” he said. “Giving is important to creating a thriving community. So many people benefit from generosity from others, and the person who gives benefits. Charitable giving is an essential part of who we are as human beings, and it is important that they don’t miss an opportunity to help others.”
The donation also is meant to highlight the importance of the campus to Kokomo and north central Indiana, and the impact it has on its quality of life and economy. Construction is nearing completion, and is set to open this fall.
“Our board members considered all that IU Kokomo provides for this community, and they were excited to provide the grant,” he said. “The Events Center will improve Kokomo’s and the region’s quality of place for students and residents. With this expansion, more students will consider IU Kokomo as their university of choice. This will create an educated workforce and strengthen employment opportunities. Local businesses will also have better educated candidates to consider when hiring.”
Aaron, A.G.S. ’90, said the gift is especially meaningful to him as an IU Kokomo alumnus.
“It’s rewarding to watch how the campus has grown over the years from the time I went there,” he said. “It’s awesome to see this kind of growth, and I’m proud to be part of it.”
Dana Davis, who was president of the foundation’s board when the donation was approved, said the Community Foundation values education and supports educational initiatives in the community.
“We were eager to support IU Kokomo in its expansion with the Student Activities and Events Center,” she said. “The campus has been very generous with providing a venue for events, so the community can see speakers, and attend dance recitals, concerts, sporting events, and robotics tournaments. This adds one more gathering space where the community can get together for events, once it is safe to do so again.”
The Community Foundations’ gift is part of IU Kokomo’s $3 million Believe. Build. Belong. campaign, for the Student Activities and Events Center, scheduled for completion in fall 2020. The 23,500-gross square-foot center will serve students as a venue for meetings, campus events, and co-curricular activities, and also will be home to Cougar athletic teams.