The Eskenazi family joined us on Friday, October 25, 2019, to formally recognize our new school name. It was a beautiful day celebrating the arts at Indiana University, and we are so grateful to Sidney and Lois for their transformative gift.
At the naming ceremony for the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, IU President McRobbie recognized the Eskenazis' decades of generosity.
Eskenazi School Dean Peg Faimon also delivered remarks to Sidney and Lois:
"It’s been my great good fortune since becoming dean in 2016 to preside over the quick evolution of our school, including three different names. With each change, our school’s name grew to represent more and more.
What started out as the School of Art and Design or S-O-A-D, was quickly complemented by the addition of another A a year later when we became the School of Art, Architecture, and Design.
The joke around the office was whether we’d eventually add or adopt more “A” disciplines to our name and keep growing SoAAAD.
Well, the news that we’ve added an “E” word to our name couldn’t be more exciting and we are immensely proud to have the Eskenazis’ name grace our school’s, now becoming the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture, and Design.
As you’ve heard, Sidney and Lois have made their name synonymous with philanthropy, with enlightenment, and with bringing the benefits of medicine, science, and the arts to everyone in our state and beyond.
So, we feel deeply honored that they’ve agreed to lend their name to our school.
An exciting aspect of adding the Eskenazi name to ours is in the power connection with our fabulous neighbor—the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art – whose building dedication, as President McRobbie mentioned, was just celebrated this morning. What a fabulous day for the Arts at IU and for the Eskenazi family!
In this bicentennial year, as we celebrate IU’s storied past, it is historically right and fitting that we should be re-united by name with the art museum, whose collection’s origins lie with IU’s original art department and art’s leaders.
Under the Eskenazi name, we also find an exciting opportunity to deepen our friendship and ties with the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Herron has also been fortunate to benefit from the family’s generosity in the form of Eskenazi Hall and the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center.
Of course, as you’ve heard, Sidney and Lois’s gift involves many wonderful aspects. Because of their gift, we’re going to be able to fund new student scholarships, support faculty development programs, and enhance teaching and research initiatives so that even more people can practice, understand, and benefit from art, design, architecture, and merchandising.
As President McRobbie mentioned, an especially exciting part of their gift is that we will be able to create a stunning new building inspired by Mies van der Rohe, a giant of 20th century architecture.
Mies originally designed the building in 1952 and we’re modifying the original plans, while preserving its luminous beauty. The building will hold classrooms, offices, conference, and collaboration rooms.
In short, Sidney and Lois’s gift will illuminate and inspire our school for generations to come. Their generosity and commitment to the arts will allow us to dream and reach a wonderous future for the Eskenazi School. Again, thank you.
So, I’d like to close by quoting the new vision statement of our school crafted by our faculty, staff, advisors, and students. We began thinking about how to express our aspirations for the future before we knew about the Eskenazis’ intentions. I think you’ll agree that there is an almost magical connection between their vision and ours.
The Eskenazi School shapes the future of creativity through transformational and interdisciplinary teaching, research, and engagement, built upon an inclusive and liberal arts approach to art, architecture, design, and merchandising.”
Thank you, Sidney and Lois, and to your whole family. We’re so grateful that you will be by our side to help us realize this vision."