supporting experiential learning and professional development
A $250,000 gift to Indiana State University from alumni Mike and Amy Alley will create the Linda Eldred Student Leadership Center and the Michael and Amy Alley Student Professional Development Fellows Program. The Board of Trustees on Friday approved the naming of both initiatives.
The Leadership Center, housed in the Hulman Memorial Student Union within the Office of Campus Life, will support programs for students on leadership development, inclusion, personal and professional growth, and community service. The Professional Development Fellows Program creates an endowment for professional development opportunities for students in the Scott College of Business.
“We are so thankful to Mike and Amy Alley for their continued support of Indiana State University,” ISU President Deborah J. 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.”
“I knew Amy before I knew Mike,” Eldred said. “She put her heart and soul into everything she did, and that impressed me.”
The Alleys served in various leadership positions within Union Board and credit Eldred and their involvement in the group with developing leadership skills that contributed to their success after graduation.
“Linda really brought so many of us together in so many ways,” Amy Alley said. “We really got to spread our wings and represent Indiana State in a positive way because of what she taught us.
“This is something we’ve wanted to do to honor Linda for a very long time. It is something that felt right to us and felt she would be honored and pleased with it. Her name will be carried on for generations among student leaders at Indiana State.”
The Leadership Center celebrates Linda Eldred for her leadership and dedication to campus activities and programs during 40 years at ISU. 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.
“It is a great honor to have two people that I am so close to, and whose accomplishments make me so proud, think that much of me to go to this extreme to honor me,” said Eldred. “I am just thrilled about it.”
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.”
Terry Daugherty, Dean of the Scott College of Business, said he’s grateful for the Alleys’ gift and that the Professional Development Fellows Program will make a big impact on business students.
Mike Alley earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in accounting in 1978. He spent more than three decades in the banking industry, including serving as President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, Central Indiana. He founded Patriot Investments in 2002, through which he maintains investment interest in multiple early-stage companies and advisory services. He currently serves on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and several corporate and non-profit boards. Alley also served as Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Revenue from 2012-15.
“If I had not gained the knowledge and experience that I had at the Scott College of Business, I don’t think I could have achieved the things I did in my career and business life,” Alley said. “I know there are still a tremendous number of young people who are just as naive as I was when I came to Indiana State in 1974 that are going to gain from these experiences and go on and do wonderful things in life. But they’ve got to have a starting point. The Scott College of Business did that for me, and I know it can do that for a lot of other people as well.”
Mike Alley is a former chair of ISU’s Board of Trustees. He and Amy Alley have served on university boards and committees, and chaired ISU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign.
“We really had four great years at Indiana State,” Amy Alley said. “It’s very rewarding to help out a place we love so much.”
Andrea Angel, Vice President of Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation, said it’s vital for ISU to create opportunities for students grow as leaders.
“Mike and Amy understand this,” Angel said. “and are helping us lead the way for our students through their bold vision to create both the Linda Eldred Student Leadership Center and the Michael and Amy Alley Student Professional Development program.”