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Every Gift Tells a Story

"It is amazing that former students still feel ties with IIT and are willing to help us in our education journey."

Jody Coppersmith graduated in May 2014 with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Her journey at IIT was made possible with the Mary Vermillion Graduate Fellowship, a gift bequeathed by Mary and named in her honor for her extraordinary legacy of caring mentorship for generations of IIT students and her vital leadership as Chair of the Psychology Department for more than 25 years. 

"It is amazing that former students still feel ties with IIT and are willing to help us in our education journey," Jody said. "I think they can really empathize with what we are going through and understand that each dollar helps! It means a lot to us that they are willing to give back."

Jody first knew she wanted to become a psychologist at the age of 14. Volunteering to work on a psychology research project during her undergraduate studies helped to solidify her passion for the field. But it was only at IIT that she felt she became more than a passive bystander in her clients' therapy. "After taking the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy class, I felt my true ability to be an effective clinician," she said. "We learned mindfulness, a component of ACT, which has been a useful skill in my personal life. I was excited to share this technique with my clients.”

The Mary Vermillion Graduate Fellowship is just one of the incredible philanthropic gifts that make a Lewis College student's education possible. Over the decades, friends and alumni have provided crucial support to our academic mission—and these gifts represent fruitful mergers of our donors’ goals and the College’s strategic priorities. They usually are part of much larger stories—of scholarship, leadership, and personal friendship. Here are a few more examples of what our donors have accomplished through philanthropic partnership with IIT and Lewis College. 

Nambury S. Raju Chair in Psychology

Our colleague Bruce Fisher brought together friends of IIT’s Center for Research and Service, colleagues and friends of the Psychology Department, and former students of one of our late Distinguished Professors to help establish the Nambury S. Raju Chair in Psychology. The chair, which recognizes his leadership, vision, and mentorship of generations of professionals in the field, supports the recruitment and retention of a distinguished faculty member committed to keeping IIT’s I/O Psychology program a leader in the field. Psychology Department Chair Professor Ron S. Landis currently holds the Raju Chair.

David J. Vitale Undergraduate Scholarship Fund and Endowment

IIT Trustee and Charter Member of the Lewis College Board of Overseers, David J. Vitale established two funds to support undergraduate students. In 1998, Mr. Vitale created the David Vitale Undergraduate Scholarship Fund, providing partial tuition support for promising undergraduate students. He endowed this vital support in 2010 through the creation of the David J. Vitale Undergraduate Scholarship Endowment.

To read more about Mr. Vitale, click here.

William C. Bartholomay Endowed Scholarships

IIT Trustee and Member of the Lewis College Board of Overseers, Bill Bartholomay established the William C. Bartholomay Endowed Psychology and Lewis College of Human Sciences Scholarships, providing undergraduate students with needed support to pursue studies in the fields of Psychology, Humanities, or the Social Sciences. Mr. Bartholomay's gift is made through the Bill Bartholomay Family Foundation, run with his five adult children.

Charles "Arch" Pounian Fellowship

When Steven Pounian was looking for a way to honor his father, Arch Pounian, IIT Alumnus and former member of the Board of Overseers, he created the Charles “Arch” Pounian Fellowship. This endowment supports a top I/O student each year with tuition and stipend support, awarded on a competitive basis. Arch enjoys meeting each year’s new Pounian Fellow.

Morris Aderman Student Fund

Friends and alumni chose to honor Professor Morry Aderman’s memory by establishing the Morris Aderman Student Fund, which provides support for student presentations and travel to professional conferences. This support is crucial to establishing our graduates in their fields - involving them in professional networks and devising new research and professional partnerships.