School of Science receives $1M gift from husband-and-wife faculty members: Newscenter: Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

Arts & Humanities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEINDIANAPOLIS — The School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has received a $1 million planned gift from two of its Department of Mathematical Sciences faculty members. The gift from Distinguished Professor Alexander R. Its and associate research professor Elizabeth N. Its will endow a professorship within the department and an undergraduate scholarship for an honors student.
The gift honors the couple’s commitment and gratitude to the school and is one of the largest estate gifts ever committed by a faculty member from the School of Science at IUPUI.
“The School of Science is so grateful to Elizabeth and Alexander Its for their thoughtful generosity,” said Dean Simon Rhodes. “Their endowed gift, just like their outstanding personal contributions to our research and teaching missions, will support the success of IUPUI students forever.”
Both natives of Russia, Alexander and Elizabeth met and married while classmates at Leningrad State University, U.S.S.R. (now known as St. Petersburg State University). When they were recruited to join the Department of Mathematical Sciences in 1993, it was a tumultuous time in their homeland. The combination of personal and professional motivations to join IUPUI has proved positive.
“This gift is a small portion of what we’d like to do to express our appreciation for all these years at this great school,” Alexander Its said. “We are very fortunate to witness and be a part of the growth of this institution where we’ve been able to move up together.”
The decision to endow a math professorship and an undergraduate scholarship stemmed from the couple’s passion for fundamental higher education. Both continue to teach courses in the school, and they are continually impressed with their students. It is Elizabeth’s hope that the scholarship will assist students who share their passion for mathematics.
“Most classes I teach are undergraduate classes, and I love my students,” Elizabeth …

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