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DePauw Benefactor Ruth Lilly Passes Away

December 31, 2009

Ruth Lilly 09.jpgDecember 31, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — Today's New York Times notes the passing of Ruth Lilly, "the reclusive philanthropist who, as the last surviving great-grandchild of the pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly, gave away an estimated $800 million ... Among the recipients of her gifts have been a number of colleges and universities, including Wabash College, Indiana University, DePauw University, Anderson University and Butler University."

Ms. Lilly died yesterday in Indianapolis at age 94. Her gift to DePauw of more than $3 million in 1979 -- at the time the largest donation in the University's history -- made possible construction of the Lilly Physical Education and Recreation Center. Ground was broken for the building (seen at right) on November 10, 1979; it opened in early 1981.

"Again we're reminded how good God was to Indiana when Eli Lilly survived the Civil lilly center autumn.jpgWar and came back to start his business here," said Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. "Her whole life, his great-granddaughter, Ruth Lilly, personified the family tradition of overwhelming generosity and special devotion to the state of Indiana. Her countless gifts will keep on giving for generations."

Read more at the Times' Web site.

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