A visionary foundation of support
In July 2007, the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Judson Mead Geologic Field Station embarked on an ambitious $3 million fundraising campaign aimed at solidifying the future of the Field Station as the premier location for teaching geosciences in the field. The case was compelling, with two distinct but overlapping goals: create an endowment for the support of scholarships, course development and research, and also provide immediate funding for infrastructure improvements—namely the construction of a much-needed classroom building that could double as a conference and training space.
Led by Professor Emeritus Lee Suttner, this effort began with five dedicated Field Station alumni sitting around a table, each agreeing to pledge a lead gift of $50,000. Over time, as we reconnected with others through professional circles and decades-old friendships, this circle of supporters expanded, forged around shared experiences during summers in Montana. The tremendous momentum of the campaign culminated in the summer of 2012, when we dedicated a new classroom building on the field station campus during a reunion weekend attended by dozens of alumni, donors, friends, neighbors, and IU administrators.