The announcement will be made at Conseco Fieldhouse during a public tribute for Brand jointly sponsored by IU and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
McRobbie will tell the assembled crowd that the university is establishing a permanent Myles Brand Chair in Cancer Research at the IU School of Medicine, Indianapolis. Funding for the chair will support a world-class world-class biomedical researcher scientist, with expertise in pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers.
Brand, who served as IU’s 16th president from 1994 to 2002, had been president of the NCAA from January 2003 until his death on Sept. 16 after a nine-month fight against pancreatic cancer. He was 67.
“Myles was a transformative leader and visionary president at Indiana University, where his impact will be felt for generations,” McRobbie said. “Through the generosity of many who admired his integrity, particularly as he fought the disease that eventually claimed him, Myles’ legacy will grow and provide hope to the nearly 1.5 million Americans who are diagnosed with cancer each year, as well as their families who also are touched by it.”
Support for the Brand Chair thus far includes nearly 145 individual gifts and pledges totaling more than $1.1 million. During the final months of Brand’s life, he — at the urging of friends — made the decision to lend his name to raise funds to support cancer research at IU. The Myles Brand Chair in Cancer Research is the only memorial campaign that bears his name. IU is adding a $1 million match to the endowment.
Many other friends and colleagues of Brand’s join his family in hoping that resulting research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center will lead to an improved understanding of cancer and contribute to efforts to find a cure.
“I am indebted to close friends and family, both here around the country, who have volunteered enormous time and effort to work in conjunction with the IU School of Medicine to raise awareness and funding for the chair in Myles’ name,” said his widow, Peg Brand, an associate professor in the departments of philosophy and women’s studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. “Thank you to Indiana University for future cancer research that will benefit generations to come.”
Josh Brand noted how meaningful the chair was to his father.
“In the months following his diagnosis, my father received numerous awards and honors, all of which I believe helped him keep his fighting spirit,” he said in a letter in support of the chair. “One of the most meaningful honors was the recent announcement by the Indiana University School of Medicine to create the Myles Brand Chair in Cancer Research.
“My father was a great supporter of the IU School of Medicine and was instrumental in its rise to prominence as one of the nation’s leading cancer programs while he served as president of Indiana University,” Brand added. “He was treated at the IU Simon Cancer Center, where he received wonderful care.”
As IU’s president, Brand led the university through a period of remarkable growth, including record enrollments and national leadership in information technology and the life sciences, leaving a legacy impacting many Hoosiers beyond the university’s eight campuses.
Donations for the Brand Chair are still being accepted and can be made by contacting the Office of Gift Development at the IU School of Medicine, 1110 W. Michigan St., LO 506, Indianapolis, IN, 46202 or 317-274-3270.
Honorary chairs for the Brand Chair campaign are McRobbie; U.S. Sens. Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar; Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels; NBA Commissioner David Stern; George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports; William Cook, Cook Group founder; Daniel F. Evans Jr., president and chief executive officer, Clarian Health; Stephen L. Ferguson, chairman of the board of Cook Group and a member of the IU Board of Trustees; and Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports.