Longtime business leader Shaheen gives $5M to UIndy

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Yvonne Shaheen has donated $5 million to the University of Indianapolis College of Arts & Sciences, university President Robert Manuel announced during commencement Saturday.

The college is being renamed the Riad and Yvonne Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences. Shaheen's husband died in 1987. For 18 years after his death, Yvonne built their company Long Electric Co., into one of the Indianapolis area's largest electrical contractors.

Yvonne Shaheen also went on to serve a host of local organizations, and currently is chair of the WFYI Public Media board and vice chair of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She also is a member and former chair of the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

UIndy, where Shaheen has been a trustee since 1992, was given an honorary doctorate in 1996 and honorary alumni award in 2013.

Nearly half of UIndy undergraduates major in 16 programs within the College of Arts & Design, including anthropology, chemistry and sociology.

The donation will support scholarships, faculty development, interdisciplinary initiatives, faculty-and-student collaborations, and lectures.

"Thanks to Yvonne, at a time when some question the value of liberal arts education, we can make an unparalleled investment in people and programs that prepare graduates not merely for a job, but for continuing growth and fulfillment in their lives as working professionals and engaged citizens,” Manuel said in a prepared statement.

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