IU honors alumna Patty Stonesifer with inaugural Women Leading the Way Award

Nov. 11, 2013


INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council honored IU alumna Patty Stonesifer as the inaugural recipient of the Women Leading the Way Award on Nov. 8. The newly created annual award recognizes a woman associated with IU for her extraordinary philanthropic achievements that improve communities and inspire others to work for positive change.

The award was presented during a ceremony following Stonesifer's keynote address at the Indianapolis Women’s Philanthropy Conference. She was interviewed by Emmy Award-winning WTHR Channel 13 evening news anchor Anne Marie Tiernon, also an IU alumna.

“Patty exemplifies the very spirit of the Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council’s Women Leading the Way Award,” said IU first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie, founding co-chair of the IU Women’s Philanthropy Council. “She persistently challenges the status quo, focuses on initiating systemic change and provides the resources to enable organizations to achieve their missions. Patty’s innovative approach to philanthropy and personal commitment to service bring great pride to her alma mater.”

Stonesifer is currently the president and CEO of Martha’s Table, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., committed to developing sustainable solutions to poverty with programs focused on providing food, nutrition and education. Stonesifer served as the founding CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for 11 years. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her to serve as chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions. Her extensive nonprofit board experience includes serving on, among other organizations, the Smithsonian Board of Regents and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Before her tenure at the Gates Foundation, Stonesifer was senior vice president of the consumer and interactive products division at the Microsoft Corp.

“Patty Stonesifer was an obvious choice as the inaugural recipient of the Women Leading the Way Award,” said Kay Ryan Booth, chair of the IU Women’s Philanthropy Council. “Through her tenacity, proven leadership and generous personal support, Patty has touched numerous lives during her career. She is truly leading the way in illustrating the power of philanthropy to transform good ideas into life-changing realities.”

Stonesifer holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is also an honorary doctoral degree recipient from IU, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Tufts University.

The IU Women's Philanthropy Council was convened by the IU Foundation Board of Directors in 2010. Its mission is to lead fundraising and engagement efforts that inspire women to give of their time, talent and resources to IU and to develop female leaders in philanthropy.

Founded in 1936, the IU Foundation maximizes private support for IU by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university.

Today, the foundation oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country with a market value in excess of $1.7 billion. In fiscal year 2013, IU received $305.9 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.