BICENTENNIAL: Four who made a difference: Not-for-profit

Keywords Bicentennial

Herman C. Krannert


Herman C. Krannert was one of the city’s quietest philanthropists. He made a fortune in corrugated packaging and then saw to it that much of that fortune was distributed to not-for-profit organizations in his adopted hometown. Krannert was a self-made multimillionaire who served as founder, chairman and CEO of Inland Container Corp., the world’s second-largest manufacturer of corrugated shipping containers at his death in 1972. The Chicago native and his wife began their remarkable philanthropic careers in 1946 when they established the Krannert Foundation and the Krannert Charitable Trust. Over the next quarter century, the Krannerts dispensed millions of dollars in Indianapolis and central Indiana. Krannert’s name graces a number of Indianapolis educational and medical facilities, including the Krannert Institute of Cardiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. One of his most enduring legacies in central Indiana is the Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Purdue University.•



Allison Melangton


Allison Melangton oversaw the biggest event in the city’s history as president and CEO of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee. The Maine native and Colorado State University graduate has made a 32-year career of sports administration and planning, and she moved to Indianapolis to work with USA Gymnastics. Melangton later moved to Indiana Sports Corp., where she was a senior vice president in charge of events planning, including Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division Basketball Championships and Big Ten tournaments. She agreed to take the Super Bowl job in 2008 and spent four years directing a staff of thousands of volunteers for the weeklong event in 2012 that put the Hoosier capital city in the national spotlight. During the period, she was named president of the Sports Corp. Following her successful launch of the Super Bowl, Melangton joined Indianapolis Motor Speedway as vice president of events in 2014.•



Henry J. Richardson


Henry J. Richardson helped found the Indianapolis branch of the Urban League in 1965, and from 1966 to 1970 served on the league’s national board. He chaired the local United Negro College Fund and also belonged to the group’s national board. Richardson’s work on behalf of civil rights in Indianapolis and the nation spanned six decades. The Alabama native was first elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1932. He served during the 1930s as director of the Civil Liberties Division of the National Bar Association and was a founding member of the Federation of Associated Clubs, which worked to end racial segregation in local theaters. He worked in 1949 for passage of the Indiana school desegregation law and was Indiana’s first life member of the NAACP. He died in Indianapolis in 1983.•



May Wright Sewall


Milwaukee native May Wright Sewall was an educator, feminist and suffragette who strove for the development of education, art and literature in Indianapolis. She was a charter member of the Indianapolis Woman’s Club and brought nationally recognized women speakers to the city. She was active in organizing the Indianapolis Art Association and the Herron Art Institute. Sewall helped found the Indianapolis Equal Suffrage Association and the Indiana Association for Promoting Woman’s Suffrage. She worked on national suffrage campaigns from 1883 to 1912. She represented Indiana at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and met with the World’s Congress of Representative Women. Sewall in 1889 was named the first president of the newly organized, national Federation of Women’s Clubs. Sewall died in Indianapolis in 1920 at age 76.•

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