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Estate gift to enhance facilities, establish endowment for Athletics and Wellness Center

An estate gift by the late Ivan Druley ’29 and Pauline Kniese Druley ’31 (pictured below) will establish an endowment at the Athletics and Wellness Center.

Earlham College’s Athletics and Wellness Center (AWC) will receive a facelift next year thanks to the bequest from the late Ivan Druley ’29 and Pauline Kniese Druley ’31, two of the institution’s longest-tenured supporters.

The Beeson farm in Milton, Ind., which had been in Pauline's family since 1814, was sold on Nov. 5 at auction for $1.94 million and stands as one of the largest alumni gifts donated to the College.

DruleyThe couple met at Earlham about 90 years ago and married in 1937. Common interests linked them. Ivan, or Druley, as he was commonly known, was a standout three-sport athlete at Earlham, and Pauline enjoyed attending athletic events.

“They appreciated the academic education they received here, but (Ivan) said it was the combination of athletics and academics that taught him about hard work and discipline,” says Avis Stewart ’74, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Community Relations. “He attributed athletics with helping him to become the person he wanted to be.”

Stewart became friends with the Druleys as they were familiar faces at campus activities.

“Throughout their lives they came to games and other events,” says Kim Tanner ’90, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement. “After graduation, they stayed involved with Earlham and came to everything. Even when she was 100 (years old) she came to homecoming and the president’s talks. They were always very active and stayed engaged with Earlham.”

In 1997, the Druleys decided to bequest the farm to Earlham to be used toward the AWC. In 1995, the Druleys contributed toward the construction of the Athletics and Wellness Center, and the indoor track and the Hall of Fame room are named in their honor.

Immediate plans from the proceeds of the farm are to resurface the multi-sport practice room and indoor track. The remaining money will fund an endowment for the ongoing maintenance of the center and other campus athletic facilities.

“They knew the benefit that athletics has on students’ lives, and they also knew that the AWC helps bridge the Earlham and Richmond communities,” Stewart says. “They felt good when they saw Earlham students and community members exercising together on the AWC track.”

Ivan was captain of the 1928 football team and played in every minute of every game for two years and lettered in track and basketball. He is a member of the Earlham Athletics Hall of Fame. Ivan spent much of his professional career at Hayes Track Appliance Co. Pauline was an Honorary Member of Earlham’s Athletics Hall of Fame. She was secretary to Landrum Bolling during his tenure as Earlham president and was later secretary for the Indiana State Senate. She also taught at the Milton School and was the recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash award. They raised sheep and grain at the farm and received the Hoosier Homestead Centennial designation by the State of Indiana for 100 years of family ownership. Ivan passed away in 1998, and Pauline passed away at the age of 105 in 2014.

“They were outstanding philanthropists, not just to Earlham but to the community at large,” Stewart says.

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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at (765) 983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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