IPFW Honors Program Gets $1.5 Million Donation (VIDEO)

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive
By Emma Koch - 21Alive

September 17, 2013 Updated Sep 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- IPFW announced Tuesday that $1.5 million was donated by Howard and Betsy Chapman of Fort Wayne for the Chapman Scholars Academic Honors Program.

A generous donation will help put IPFW on a new path for a successful academic future.

Fort Wayne attorney Howard Chapman and his wife, Betsy, donated $1.5 million to IPFW for the Chapman Scholars program. Betsy is a graduate of IPFW’s English Department.

Up to this point, the Chapmans have donated a total of $7 million, $4 million of which now goes towards full ride scholarships to four deserving students every year. The Chapman Scholars program began in 2009, and its first graduating class came out in Spring 2013. Currently there are 16 students in the program.

The Chapman program is designed on three pillars of excellence: academics, leadership and civic engagement, meaning these students must create a service project that will impact the Fort Wayne community.

"One of our goals was to have these students be an intrical part of the community. Now they won't all stay here, but even if they go away they're going to think that this is home. And a lot of them will stay here, and if they do they're going to be a real asset to Fort Wayne,” said Howard Chapman.

IPFW Chancellor, Vicky Carwein says donations and programs like this uplift the reputation of IPFW overall.

“It will cause us to strive even higher for academic excellence. We will take really outstanding programs and make them even better,” said Carwein. “These kinds of students challenge the institution, and the institution challenges them and everybody gets better as a result of that. The academic quality naturally increases as a result of all of that.”

Carwein says $1 million of the donation will go towards the continuation of the full ride scholarships and $500,000 will go to constructing a physical study and instructional space for the Chapman scholars, who currently meet in the basement of the library. Carwein says IPFW will match the $500,000 to build that facility.

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