Statement issued Thursday by Patrick M. Rooney, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University:
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Ruth Lilly. She was an extraordinary philanthropist in the truest sense of the word, exemplifying tremendous generosity of spirit that exceeded even her many very generous gifts. Her legacy is one of passion for the beauty of the human spirit and compassion for others.
The Lilly family’s name is synonymous with philanthropy. Ruth Lilly faithfully built on that invaluable tradition while blazing her own trail to support and advance the causes and organizations closest to her heart.
Great philanthropists enlighten and inspire others. Miss Lilly was an inspiring role model for future philanthropists. She understood the power of philanthropy as a catalyst for learning, for new discoveries and for creating transformative changes in the lives of individuals and communities. The impact of her giving will be felt in Indianapolis and nationwide for generations to come.