The honoree list at the annual IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Awards Celebration included an alumnus and longtime donor to the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis.
Michael Williams (BS 1995) maintains a strong connection to the Kelley Indianapolis finance and accounting programs. Since graduation, Williams has continued to contribute to scholarship funds, and an endowed scholarship for undergraduate students was created in his name in 2009.
“I’m humbled to be giving back to the university that offers so much to its students, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to do so,” Williams said of being this year’s Kelley recipient.
Each year since 1989, the IUPUI campus has come together for the Spirit of Philanthropy Awards. This event honors the individuals, corporations and foundations that have contributed to programs through gifts and volunteer services.
Williams said he views his role as a donor and scholarship supporter as part of the trade-off for receiving a high-caliber business degree. He was in his 30s and working at a lumberyard when he began taking courses at Kelley Indianapolis. Today, he is a partner in the Detroit office of Ernst & Young, one of the “big four” accounting firms.
“I wouldn’t have had a career without having what Kelley gave me. It changed my life,” Williams said, adding he hopes other non-traditional students can benefit from his generosity.
“Mike Williams typifies students who have graduated from the Kelley School Indianapolis,” said Philip Cochran, associate dean of Indianapolis operations.
“After a successful career locally, Mike chose to pursue a degree at Kelley that opened opportunities that spanned the globe. Despite his success and work abroad, he continues to support Kelley Indianapolis students who dream of bigger things,” Cochran added.
The philanthropy awards have been given to more than 600 individuals and organizations connected to all the IUPUI academic units. The awards celebration is sponsored collaboratively by IUPUI, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and the Indiana University Foundation.