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Bicentennial Campaign event honors donors, philanthropist Glenn Close



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IU's First Lady, Laurie Burns McRobbie, presents actress Glenn Close with the Women Leading the Way award during a IU Bicentennial Campaign celebration Saturday afternoon. This award is the highest honor the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council can give, McRobbie said. Lydia Gerike Buy Photos

As Laurie Burns McRobbie presented actress and philanthropist Glenn Close with this year’s Women Leading the Way award, everyone at the Bicentennial Campaign For All Who Lead and Volunteer event gave a standing ovation.

Close announced she will be donating costumes from her films and shows, including Hamlet, the World According to Garp and 101 Dalmatians, to IU. She will continue to donate costumes in the future.

“How proud I am to have my beloved costumes, which are my life, in a place that treasures them as much as I do,” Close said.

The Wright Quad dining hall was transformed for the alumni, donors and volunteers for the Bicentennial Campaign on Saturday night, and they all gathered to be thanked by the University and updated on the progress of the campaign.  

The ceremony was an opportunity to also celebrate the volunteers, alumni and donors for the IU Bicentennial Campaign. In 2015, they campaign set a goal to raise $2.5 billion by 2020 but are projected to raise more, said President Michael McRobbie. 

McRobbie announced that the Bicentennial Campaign has increased its goal from $2.5 billion to $3 billion. He also extended the campaign to June 2020. 

“Let us not waste a single day of the Bicentennial to working for support to IU,” McRobbie said. “IU’s Bicentennial will be a time that will never happen again.”

Along with announcing increases for the Bicentennial Campaign, McRobbie also announced that IU faculty and students will paint a new mural in Wright Quad dining hall to depict 1999-2020.

The murals in Wright Quad currently depict IU’s history up to 1998.

“There is much to celebrate tonight, as you’ve just heard,” McRobbie said. “With the new goal of $3 billion, we must double and triple our efforts.”

Close joined the celebration to talk about her nonprofit organization, Bring Change to Mind, to help end stigmas surrounding mental illness. She was inspired to create this after her sister struggled with mental illness and saw that no one in her family was talking about it.

Creating this organization led her to IU and to IU professor, Bernice Pescosolido. Pescosolido is a sociologist who studies stigmas surrounding mental illness and is on the board of directors and chairs a scientific advisory board for Bring Change to Mind.

IU currently has the only undergraduate Bring Change to Mind organization, which is a four-year research project to be offered at different schools around the country after the project finishes here.

“I keep returning to IU because I love the fact that it’s in the Midwest, the heart of America,” Close said. “The passion and the heart of the students continue to inspire me. They get it. They will be the change.”

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