Trust of late Michigan City philanthropist donates $5.85M to Indiana University South Bend

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SOUTH BEND, Indiana — A trust created by a late Michigan City philanthropist has donated $5.85 million to Indiana University South Bend to strengthen the region's quality of health care education.

University officials say the gift from the Vera Z. Dwyer Charitable Trust is the largest single donation in campus history and the largest to an IU campus outside those in Bloomington and Indianapolis. The gift will support health care student scholarships and faculty as well as a low-cost health care clinic for residents, the South Bend Tribune reports (

The school announced its college of health sciences has been named after Vera Dwyer, who died in 2010 at age 89. Her husband, James Dwyer, was a businessman and entrepreneur who owned Dwyer Instruments Inc. He died in 1995.

"This really helps not only our students, but the whole community," IU South Bend Chancellor Terry Allison said.

David Kibbe, vice president and trust officer at Indiana Trust & Investment Management Co. of Mishawaka, which manages the Dwyer Charitable Trust, said the money was donated because of a persuasive proposal for health sciences funding presented by the university, which has an enrollment of about 8,490 students.

"We were really blown away by the proposal and thought it was a perfect fit for the Dwyer Trust," he said.

The donation includes $2.5 million to increase the endowment of the existing Vera Z. Dwyer Scholarship in Healthcare. Twenty percent of the funds are reserved for students from LaPorte County. Another $1.5 million will be used to create and endow a Dwyer Distinguished Chair in Advanced Nursing Practice. The school said $1 million is a guaranteed matching pledge for the campus Health & Wellness Center to provide low-cost health care services to the community. The remaining $850,000 is to be used to begin implementation of these various initiatives.

The donation also will fund the creation of a clinic on campus that will provide low-cost medical exams and services for community residents.

The Dwyer Trust made another $1 million donation to the campus in February to fund scholarships for undergraduate health science students.

Information from: South Bend Tribune,

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