Simon daughter honors father with $1.5M to IU school of philanthropy

Cynthia Simon Skjodt, the daughter of late shopping mall magnate Melvin Simon, is donating $1.5 million to the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in honor of her father, the school announced Wednesday morning.

The gift will create the Melvin Simon Chair in Philanthropy, which will help the school "attract and retain world-class faculty members" who will "teach and conduct cutting-edge research at the school to educate future philanthropy and nonprofit leaders," the school said.

Skjodt is making the gift through the Samerian Foundation, which she founded and leads.

The new chair will give the Indianapolis-based school five endowed chairs named for local philanthropists.

Simon, who died in 2009 as a billionaire, co-founded the company that eventually became Simon Property Group Inc., the nation’s largest owner of retail real estate. He was known for his philanthropy, which included millions of dollars to numerous central Indiana not-for-profits.

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