Irsay, Hancock Hiltunen Caito Families Give Significant Gifts To IU

Sam Beishuizen, Staff Writer
The Hoosier

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Indiana University celebrated what it calls "IU Day" on Wednesday to celebrate the school and perhaps draw up interest from potential donors.

And IU Athletics cashed in.

The department received a pair of significant donations from the Irsay and Hancock Hiltunen Caito families on Wednesday, as announced in a release from the school. Both donations will go toward the IU Athletics Excellence Academy which will soon be housed in the south end zone of Memorial Stadium upon its completion.

The gift from the Irsay family was the result of Kalen Jackson, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay's daughter. She's an IU Varsity Club board member and a 2010 IU graduate.

As a result, part of the academy will feature the Irsay name. The size of the gift was not specified.

"I am so proud to say that I went to IU. It’s wonderful to be accessible to my university and feel like I’m able to help, since they were instrumental in shaping who I am both personally and professionally,” Jackson said in the release. “They’re continually looking at how to make things better for the student-athlete as a whole, and the Excellence Academy is a perfect example of that. I’m thankful that my dad (Jim Irsay) believes in my passion for IU and that he knows how important IU is to me, because I obviously couldn’t do it without his support.”

An IU release said that the "Irsay Family Wellness Clinic" will help the "physical and mental well-being of the neraly 650 students that participate in 24 varsity sports at Indiana." The project will include exam rooms, x-ray machines, procedure rooms, physician offices, sports psychologist offices, a nutrition office and a consultation room.

“We are deeply grateful for the incredible generosity of Kalen Jackson and her family, whose major gift to the Excellence Academy will establish the Irsay Family Wellness Center,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said in a release. “The gift will touch the lives of countless students who participate in intercollegiate athletics for generations to come. The clinic will provide the workspace and technology to ensure that our students are well in mind, body and spirit. We cannot thank Kalen and the Irsay family enough for their commitment to the health and well-being of our students.”

The gift from Dena Rae Hancock and Philip Robert Caito will go toward the Hancock Hiltunen Caito Center for Leadership and Life Schools. Both Hancock and Caito are active members of the IU Alumni Association.

"IU Athletics extends our deepest thanks to Dena Rae Hancock and Rob Caito for their extraordinary generous gift to establish the Hancock Hiltunen Caito Center for Leadership and Life Skills," Glass said in a release. "Their generosity will help prepare every IU student who participates in intercollegiate athletics for life after graduation. The Hancock Hiltunen Caito Center for Leadership and Life Skills is central to the mission of the Excellence Academy and will be a model for other institutions to follow. Their investment in the personal growth and development of our students will truly impact lives and change the world."

Both donations are part of the "For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign" project.


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