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Great-granddaughter of Eli Lilly, IU donor Ruth Lilly dies


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Ruth Lilly, the last surviving great-grandchild of pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly, and a donor to IU died Wednesday, a family spokesman told The Indianapolis Star.

Lilly, who was 94, donated more than $30 million in gifts to the IU-Purdue University Indianapolis and IU-Bloomington campuses.

IU President Michael McRobbie and IU Foundation President and CEO Eugene Tempel said in a statement that Lilly played a major role in shaping the University.

"A woman of wide-ranging interests, with a deeply felt commitment to philanthropy, she made gifts to multiple areas at IU, ranging from the arts and sciences to law and business,” they said in the statement.

She donated to the Lilly Library, School of Law-Indianapolis, School of Medicine and the Kelley School of Business as well as other departments and programs at IU.

Lilly’s donations also reflected her love of books and poetry. She established a professorship in poetry in the College of Arts and Sciences and wrote poetry herself.

IU also recognized Lilly as a Doctor of Humane Letters in 2004.

“She honored Indiana University more highly than we could ever honor her, with her gift of trust and her faith in Indiana University and its power to better the world through education and scholarship,” said McRobbie and Tempel in the statement.

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This undated photo released by the Lilly family shows Ruth Lilly, the noted philanthropist and last surviving great-grandchild of pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly who died Wednesday night, Dec. 30, 2009, at 94, a family spokesman said. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Lilly family via David Sease via The Indianapolis Star) Buy Photos

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