UIndy receives $6M gift for expansion of honors college

The University of Indianapolis on Thursday said it would use a $6 million gift from former banking executive Laura Strain for a major expansion of the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College.

The college was named in honor of the Strains in 2015 when they established an endowment with a $1 million gift about 10 months before Ron Strain’s death.

The Strain’s met as students as UIndy (then known as Indiana Central University) in the 1950s before their 59-year marriage. They both joined the university’s board of trustees in 2013.

Ron spent his career in finance leadership for RCA and Miller Brewing Co. Laura was a marketing and public relations exec for U.S. Bank.

“Ron would have wanted it,” Laura said of the donation. “He never forgot about what he learned at the University of Indianapolis—both inside and outside the classroom. He is smiling down on us and is so proud of what the Strain Honors College is doing for our students. ”

The Ron and Laura Strain Honors College houses more than 250 students in all different majors and disciplines across UIndy. The program provides students with opportunities for leadership, service, independent study and faculty-guided research.

UIndy said part of the funding will allow the college to elevate the executive director position to academic dean-level, more in line with the responsibilities and oversight required by the role.

“On behalf of the entire university community, I want to thank Laura Strain for her generous gift and continued commitment to the University of Indianapolis,” UIndy President Tanuja Singh said in written remarks. “This gift expands the impact of the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College. It will enable us to strengthen our commitment to attracting and retaining motivated and talented students and prepare them for leadership, impact and a love for lifelong learning.”