Part of the university's $2.5 billion For All: the Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign, the gift will endow two new faculty chairs — one in the Department of History ($1.5 million) and one in the Department of Economics ($1.5 million). The remaining $3 million will establish new scholarships through the university's Arts and Sciences Career Services, which will be renamed the Walter Center for Career Achievement in recognition of the gift. The new scholarships will provide up to $5,000 for travel, tuition, and living expenses incurred while participating in high-quality, meaningful internships.
Walter earned a master’s degree in economics from IU in 1972. During his long career in the financial sector, he served as chief operating officer and treasurer for Kayne Anderson Rudnick, an investment management firm. In addition, he has served on the IU College of Arts and Sciences Executive Dean’s Advisory Board since 2012, as well as a range of other nonprofit boards and committees. Recently retired, Walter, an advocate for lifelong learning, earned a master's degree in literature and arts from the University of Oxford in 2014.
"By expanding educational opportunities for our students and strengthening our faculty, Ralph's gift will have an extensive and enduring impact on the College of Arts and Sciences," said IU president Michael A. McRobbie. "His exceptional generosity and commitment to strengthening our academic environment are truly inspiring, as are his vision for the Walter Center and the ways in which it will prepare IU graduates for successful and rewarding careers."