ISU receives 3 gifts, totaling $600,000

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana State University announced Friday it had received three gifts totaling $600,000 from both several alumni and parents of current and recent students.

One came from the McKee family, whose connection to ISU spans three generations and nine decades, who donated $250,000 in support of the President’s Scholars program. In recognition of the gift, ISU’s Board of Trustees on Friday approved the naming of the McKee Family Heritage Lounge in Tirey Hall.

“The McKee family’s connection to Indiana State University is special,” ISU President Deborah J. Curtis said. “This family has made an impressive mark at ISU, and the naming of the McKee Family Heritage Lounge is a fitting tribute recognizing their generous commitment to grow opportunities for students in the President’s Scholars program.”  

The McKee family at the dedication of the McKee Nursing Center in 2010. Left to right: Craig McKee, Nancy McKee, Dale McKee, Elizabeth McKee, Christopher McKee, and Diann McKee. 

Dale McKee said, “Our gifts are intended to recognize longstanding connection and loyalty to ISU. Each of us has his or her own list of ISU memories, but all of us can trace whatever achievements we have had in our lives to the education that we received at Indiana State. That we can encourage and support some of ISU’s best students with this gift and recognize a connection that dates back nearly 90 years means a great deal to all of us.” 

The President’s Scholars program is the university’s most prestigious merit scholarship. It includes full in-state tuition, room, and board. The gift will create the McKee Family President’s Scholars Academic Experience Fund, supporting fellowships for exceptional students. McKee Fellows will receive support in areas including undergraduate research, creative activity such as artistic exhibitions, internships, residencies, and professional opportunities.   

Seven members of the McKee family have earned eight degrees at ISU and have served as faculty, staff, and administrators.  

The family’s connection to the university began with Clyde Morris McKee, who attended Indiana State Teachers College. His son, Dale McKee, earned two degrees at Indiana State. Dale’s late wife, Nancy, taught in the university’s School of Nursing for more than 30 years. All of Dale and Nancy’s children earned degrees at ISU.

“The McKee family is synonymous with our University,” said Andrea Angel, Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation.  “They have been ardent supporters of our students in a variety of important University initiatives. This gift from the family will help us expand experiential learning opportunities for students and establish a permanent family legacy on campus for the McKees.”

The first student recipients of the McKee Fellows will be selected in the Spring 2021 semester through a competitive application process within the Honors College.   

Also announced was a $250,000 gift to Indiana State University from alumni Mike and Amy Alley, which will create the Linda Eldred Student Leadership Center and the Michael and Amy Alley Student Professional Development Fellows Program. 

Mike and Amy Alley.

The Leadership Center will support programs for students on leadership development, inclusion, personal and professional growth and community service. 

 “We are so thankful to Mike and Amy Alley for their continued support of Indiana State University,” President Curtis said. “As alumni, they have generously given back to the University, supporting numerous projects and programs. Their newest gift expands our commitment to helping students develop skills necessary for success after graduation.”   

Eldred was advisor to ISU’s Union Board and introduced the Alleys when they were students. Mike Alley graduated from ISU’s Scott College of Business in 1978. Amy Alley graduated the same year from the Bayh College of Education.  

The gift from the Alleys is a challenge gift for the University’s Give to Blue Day on March 3 to inspire other alumni to honor Linda by donating to the Center.  

“We are proud of Linda and the impact she had on us, and we want other people to share in that too,” Mike Alley said. “I know there are those that likewise want to acknowledge the impact she had on their lives.” 

The third gift came from Troy Biddle, owner of Terre Haute-based Hannig Construction, and his wife Pam. They pledged $100,000 to ISU to create a Construction Management scholarship in honor of his parents, who led Hannig for two decades. ISU’s trustees acknowledged the gift by voting to name a lab in the Technology Annex Building the Bill and Toni Biddle Construction Management Lab. 

The Bill and Toni Biddle Endowed Construction Management Scholarship will support students who reside in the Wabash Valley and are majoring or minoring in Construction Management. Construction Management is the largest degree program in the College of Technology with more than 500 students enrolled. It is also the largest online program at ISU.  

Troy and Pam Biddle.

The Biddles’ oldest oldest son, Christian, graduated from ISU in 2020 with a degree in Economics. Their youngest son, Shane, is currently a freshman pursuing a degree in Finance.  

Said Nesli Alp, Dean of the College of Technology: “This is the first endowed scholarship for the Construction Management program and I’m so happy that it will help carry on the Biddle family’s legacy of developing leaders for the construction industry. The scholarship will support students who are leaders on and off campus — in the classroom and lab, in student organizations, and through projects in the community.” 

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