IU scores with ‘Philanthropy 50’ gifts

Two Indiana businessmen, Michael Maurer and the late Jesse Cox, made the Philanthropy 50 with enormous gifts to Indiana University in 2008.

Cox, a venetian blinds entrepreneur, landed at No. 24 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy‘s ranking by committing a total of $83.5 million in 2008. Maurer, IBJ Media Corp co-owner, was at No. 46 after committing $35.2 million.

Cox, who died last year, and his late wife, Beulah, left $77 million to IU, the largest gift the university has ever received, the Chronicle reported. The money will cover scholarships for needy students with good grades. Two-thirds of the money will go to the Bloomington campus, and one-third will go to IUPUI.

Founder of J.H. Cox Manufacturing Co., Cox grew up during the Great Depression and worked his way through IU with various enterprises. The scholarships will cover 75 percent of tuition at either campus, and require the recipients to earn the remaining 25 percent, preferably while working in their major.

Cox also gave $6.5 million to the Legacy Fund of Hamilton County for Coxhall Gardens, the home and 125-acre spread he and his wife previously donated to the county.

Maurer, 66, and his wife, Janie, committed $35 million to IU’s School of Law in Bloomington, which was renamed the Michael Maurer School of Law. The money will be matched by the IU Foundation and go toward student scholarships. The Maurers reported an additional $200,000 in giving to various Indiana charities.

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