Arthur J. Decio, community leader and education patron who led the effort to establish an IU South Bend presence in Elkhart, passed away November 7. He was 90 years old.
We at IU South Bend will be forever grateful for Art’s leadership and friendship, said Chancellor Susan Elrod. With his boundless energy and belief in the power of education, he was a champion not just for IU but for many other community organizations. The South Bend-Elkhart region is fortunate to have had such a great man in our midst.
Decio and his wife Patricia believed in the opportunity that a downtown IU South Bend presence in Elkhart could offer to area residents. As co-chairman of the steering committee for the Indiana University South Bend Elkhart Center, he led a $4.5 million fundraising drive for the new facility where Elkhart students and residents can pursue their college degrees and enhance job training and lifelong learning opportunities. Decio’s involvement at Indiana University South Bend included 24 years of serving on the Advisory Board.
He received Indiana University South Bend’s E. M. Morris Award in 1984 in recognition of his achievement in leadership and contributions to the advancement of business and the quality of life in Michiana. Art Decio and his Skyline Corporation sponsored the Armstrong Dinner in Elkhart for over 30 years, recognizing both a prominent Elkhart business person and outstanding faculty at the Leighton School of Business and Economics at IU South Bend. He was also one of the first recipients to receive the Herman B. Wells Visionary Award from the Indiana University Foundation in Bloomington in 2000 and was inducted into the Presidents Circle in 1992, which honors Indiana University’s most generous donors.
In addition to his honorary degree from Indiana University in 2001, he received honorary degrees from the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, and St. Mary’s College, among others.