News and analysis
August 15, 2016

Gifts Roundup: Eli Lilly CEO Gives $5 Million to Central Indiana United Way

United Way of Central Indiana

John Lechleiter, the chief executive of Eli Lilly and Company, and his wife, Sarah, are giving $5 million gift to the United Way of Indiana to support early-childhood education and services for low-income families. The pharmaceutical company will match the donation.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Basketball legend Michael Jordan gave $5 million to the new Smithsonian museum, which is scheduled to open in late September.

In addition to Mr. Jordan’s cash gift, his former team, the Chicago Bulls, donated a jersey he wore during the 1996 NBA Finals. Officials with the museum said a section of its sports gallery housing an exhibition on historically prominent African-American athletes will be called Michael Jordan Hall.

Mr. Jordan, now the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, played in the league for 15 seasons and won six championships with the Bulls. He also won two Olympic gold medals. He is on something of a giving spree this summer, making two other large donations in late July.

United Way of Central Indiana

John Lechleiter, the chief executive of Eli Lilly and Company, and his wife, Sarah, donated $5 million. The gift will be matched by the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.

The money will go toward early-childhood education and services for low-income families. Some of the gift will also support United Ways in Brazil, India, South Africa, and Spain.

Mr. Lechleiter is chairman of the United Way Worldwide Board of Directors, and Ms. Lechleiter is a founding member of the United Way of Central Indiana women’s leadership giving group, Women United.

New England Center for Children

John and Diane Kim gave $2.5 million for a new autism institute, which has been named for the couple.

The money will go toward autism research, teacher training, and development of new technology to help autistic children and their families. It will also support improvement of the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia, the New England Center’s interactive, cloud-based teaching system.

Mr. Kim is the president of insurance company New York Life and a co-chair of the center’s current fundraising campaign.

College of Saint Benedict

Jim Frey, and his wife, Mary White Frey, pledged $1.5 million for scholarships for students from underrepresented areas of Minnesota.

Ms. White Frey is a 1980 graduate of the women’s liberal-arts institution in Collegeville, Minn., and Mr. Frey is a 1978 graduate of its partner college, Saint John’s University.

Mr. Frey is a lawyer and the head of Frey Foundation of Minnesota, which was founded by his parents, Eugene and Mary Frey. Eugene Frey was a businessman who led the Waldorf Corporation, a paper company the family sold for $400 million in 1997.

University of Kansas

Luther and Ardis Fry committed $1 million to endow a professorship in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Fry is an ophthalmologist known developing the technique for small-incision surgery in cataract treatment. He earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the university in the 1960s.

To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.