Developing relationships and resources
Inspiring support: Judy Schumaker, director of advancement for HHS, sees enormous potential for developing relationships and resources from a variety of sources — especially with the college's new strategic plan in place. (Photo by Andrew Hancock)
In January 2011, Judy Schumaker became the first director of advancement for HHS and faced the daunting task of representing nine existing academic units from three different colleges to focus on vital issues related to improving health and the quality of life.
"We've made great strides in explaining the commonalities of the units in the college and building our constituency one alum at a time," Schumaker attests.
Following the college's third anniversary, with a new strategic plan in place, Schumaker sees "enormous potential for developing relationships and resources" from a variety of sources — federal agencies, corporations, foundations and private individuals interesting in investing in this innovative enterprise.
"Over the past three years, so many people have expressed interest in supporting our initiatives," she says.
"Now we have a story to tell when we reach out. We can show our friends and donors that there's a place for them to make an investment in something that makes a difference in the important areas of health, human sciences, prevention, behavior change...powerful disciplines that play off one another and augment each other. That's a compelling story to tell."
Schumaker says the HHS leadership team is busy identifying "big ideas and big opportunities," such as autism research consolidation and shared professorships that will attract the rising stars of research, such as A.J. Schwichtenberg or even draw established names to come to Purdue.
Schumaker cites Purdue's new Women's Global Health Institute (WGHI) as an example of high-profile opportunity for support and impact. "We launched this last spring and it brought over 60 faculty researchers from across the campus to focus on women's health issues and build on our strengths in nutrition, disease prevention and early detection through biomedical technologies." Among her current priorities is building an eight-figure endowment to keep WGHI growing.
"Behind any success in fundraising are long-term relationships with people," Schumaker says. "Fundraising is an exchange of values between the individual and the institution. We are providing our friends, donors, partners and stakeholders with something worthwhile that makes a difference in people's lives and that is meaningful to them at the same time."
Coming soon: Lyles-Porter Hall will open in fall 2014.
A visible case in point is the college's $54 million Lyles-Porter Hall, launched in 2009 by a $10 million gift from Marybeth Lyles Higuera of Visalia, Calif. Higuera, a former speech pathologist, earned her bachelor's degree at Purdue in speech-language pathology in 1959. The building is named for her parents and the father of her first husband, Purdue alumni and grandparents of her four children.
Lyles-Porter Hall unites faculty research facilities and learning spaces for Purdue's acclaimed and ranked Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, HHS clinical research centers and the Indiana University School of Medicine - Lafayette.
Shared clinical, medical teaching and research spaces and improved parking and location convenience for access to community clinical services will promote and support expanded opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning and engagement.
Like the Lyles-Porter building itself, from the college's strong foundation rises the structure for an even more influential future.