The Schwitzer Student Center Atrium was renamed on Jan. 15 to recognize donors Jefferson and Mary Shreve for their financial contribution to the University of Indianapolis.
According to UIndy360, the Shreves currently reside on the south side of Indianapolis. Jefferson Shreve is the owner of Storage Express, a self-storage company with locations in five states. He is a former Indianapolis City-County Council member, representing part of the Indianapolis south side, where he was born. Vice President for University Advancement Christopher Molloy said that Shreve wanted to be involved with UIndy because he saw it as an important south side institution.
“He started to support the university in smaller ways,” Molloy said. “He liked President Robert Manuel’s vision. I think he recognized that the university is an important institution on the south side.”
Molloy said that he and Manuel spent time getting to know Shreve on campus. Eventually, Shreve decided he wanted to do something bigger for the university by donating a major gift. The Shreves’ donation falls into the naming gift category, which at UIndy is any gift between $100,000 to $5,000,000, although they did not want to disclose the amount. The gift will support the Professional Edge Center, according to Molloy.
“He [Shreve] felt like it [donating to ProEdge] was a really good opportunity to help the students get ready for what’s next—whether it would be the world of work or going to graduate school—and to identify what they wanted to do,” Molloy said.
In an effort to recognize and honor Shreve and his wife for their gift, Molloy and the university asked if they would allow a campus space to be named after them. The Shreves and university officials discussed potential spaces. They ultimately decided on the atrium because it is a community space that reflected Shreve’s interest in community, according to Molloy. In a statement from UIndy360, Shreve said that he is proud to be associated with UIndy.
“I am so thankful and grateful to have our name associated with this campus and with this space, which is particularly meaningful to us, because this space is that connecting point not just for the student and faculty life but for the community that reaches its fingers through the south side,” Shreve said.
Molloy said that while some donors like to remain anonymous, the university encourages those who contribute to be recognized, including the Shreves.
In a statement from UIndy360, Manuel said that renaming the atrium allowed for a connection between the Shreves and the university: “[The naming] is a wonderful opportunity to be able to connect to the Shreves as they think about their philanthropy, engaging the community and facilitating the conversation as the University Heights neighborhood develops,” Manuel said.