Now known as the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College, the program provides top students with rigorous coursework and opportunities for leadership, service, independent study and faculty-guided research.
“This program represents UIndy at its best: identifying young people with strong potential and helping them develop into engaged citizens who contribute to their communities,” university President Robert Manuel said. “We are extremely pleased that the Strains recognize the value of this work and are providing support that will transform the opportunities in this area.”
Ron Strain, who grew up in Indianapolis, retired as vice president of finance and treasurer from the Miller Brewing Co. His wife, Laura, originally from Odon, Ind., retired as senior vice president for marketing and public relations with U.S. Bank East Group. Now living in Naples, Fla., they met as students at UIndy and joined the university’s board of trustees in 2013.
“UIndy holds a special place in our hearts, since it is where we met and grew into adulthood,” the Strains said in a written statement. “We are thankful for the foundation UIndy provided, which defines who we are today as individuals and as a couple.
“Our goal is for students participating in the Honors College to become immersed in an interdisciplinary learning environment – one that will provide the skills needed for lifelong personal and professional success.”
The college is open to students in all majors and schools, including those enrolled in pre-professional programs. Freshmen entering the university under certain scholarships are invited to apply for admission, and other students may apply if they meet grade and credit requirements.
Amy Allen Sekhar, executive director of the college and an associate professor of French, said the endowment will establish a substantive annual budget for the program’s operations. Initiatives that have been discussed as possibilities now seem within reach, she added.