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Endowed Chair Recognizes Women’s Major Role in U.S. Philanthropy

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Women are increasingly important players in American philanthropy—as leaders of charities and decision makers in their families’ giving strategies.

Now, a newly endowed chair at the Indiana University School of Philanthropy will focus research on women’s role in giving, volunteering and leadership of philanthropic organizations.

The university announced last week that the school had received an endowment gift from Houston philanthropists Maureen and Jim Hackett to establish the Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair in Women’s Philanthropy.

Maureen Hackett currently leads the school’s board of visitors. The endowed chair is named after her mother, described in a statement as an entrepreneurial businesswoman who helped and cared for others.

The endowed chair is the first of its kind in the country, according to the statement. Its holder will conduct research on women’s philanthropy and on gender differences in philanthropy, translate research into improvements in philanthropic practices and develop academic courses in the School of Philanthropy.

The Hacketts’ charitable giving focuses on mental health care advocacy, children’s health and Catholic education, among other causes, the statement said.

Maureen Hackett is an active board member or advisory board member for several charities around the country. Jim Hackett also serves as a volunteer leader of several nonprofit boards. He is executive chairman of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s board and former board chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The Hacketts’ gift is the first chair to be endowed at the School of Philanthropy during the recently announced public phase of its Moving Philanthropy Forward $100 million special endowment initiative.

The initiative seeks support for endowed faculty chairs, student scholarships, research and training programs for philanthropy and nonprofit professionals. To date, the school has received some $71 million in gifts and pledges, including the Hacketts’ gift, the statement said.


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