We are thrilled to announce a $2 million endowment to support the Patricia and Joel Meier Chair of Education at the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art, thanks to museum volunteer docent and National Advisory Board member Patricia Meier and her husband, Joel. The Meiers were able to augment a prior planned gift for the museum that allowed them to lock in a match from the university as part of the For All: Bicentennial Campaign Faculty/Staff Match program. The new portion of the gift was announced on IU Day, adding to the 2017 IU Day gift totals. This endowment will have an enormous impact on the museum's educational programming, helping to ensure its future, and increase its impact on students and the public throughout the state of Indiana.
"We are delighted to provide financial support that will enhance and sustain the Eskenazi Museum of Art's education program. It is one of the most progressive and dynamic art education departments in the country; it is an educational resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. We love the museum, so it is a privilege for us to make a lasting contribution that will enrich the lives of present and future generations," said Patricia and Joel Meier about their wonderful gift to the art museum.
The Eskenazi Museum of Art served more than 90,000 visitors in 2016, and its education department conducted over 1,000 tours—with specialized tours to 5,500 K-12 schoolchildren and more than 9,000 university students.
In addition to her service as a member of the museum's National Advisory Board, Patti Meier spent many years as a docent at the art museum. Her contributions to the docent program were so vast that after her retirement the museum established the Patti and Joel Meier Docent Award. Each year, it is awarded to the most outstanding docent at the art museum. Joel Meier served many years as the chair of the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies at Indiana University, a department that has also been the recipient of the Meiers exceptional generosity. "We are delighted to thank the Meiers for the many ways they have generously supported the art museum and Indiana University, now only further solidified with their recent endowment to our education department. We are honored to have their name grace our education chair and thank them for the many great things this gift will provide in the years to come," said David Brenneman, the museum's Wilma E. Kelley Director.