Community to celebrate Bill Cook's life in the IU Auditorium


Bill Cook, chairman and founder of Cook Group, died Friday April 15, 2011, at about 4:30 p.m. He was 80. Buy Photos

Cook, whose company’s medical devices made him one of the country’s richest men, died in April.

He donated millions of dollars in gifts to IU and the City of Bloomington over the years—including the largest donation IU Athletics has ever received.

“Bill will long be remembered as an extraordinarily successful man of great generosity, not only to Indiana University, but to the City of Bloomington and indeed to all of Indiana,” IU President Michael McRobbie said on a web page created after Cook’s death.

“In less than a half century, he built a business that became a world leader in providing high-quality medical devices that have extended and added quality to the lives of millions of people.”

Cook was named an honorary Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives and is a member of the Bloomington Hall of Fame.

He has also received honorary Doctorate Degrees from IU, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Northwestern University.

The celebration is public and includes a reception and a program honoring Cook’s life and legacy and will feature musical performances and luminaries who worked with Cook.

Gov. Mitch Daniels will also be on hand, posthumously awarding Cook the Sachem Award. The Sachem Award is the highest honor the state can give a person.

“Bill Cook did so many great things, but even more important, he did so many right things,” Daniels said in a news release. “Indiana will always revere his character and example beyond all the jobs he created and history he preserved. His was truly a life worth emulating.”

Previous Sachem Award recipients include baseball legend Carl Erskine and gospel musicians Bill and Gloria Gaither.

The celebration is scheduled for June 1 at the IU Auditorium. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

— Jake New

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