June 6, 2020
On behalf of IUPUI and Indiana University more broadly, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Christel DeHaan on the occasion of her passing earlier today. She was a bright light in education and the arts in the city of Indianapolis and truly around the world, and she will be deeply missed.
A longtime supporter of IUPUI, Ms. DeHaan made a transformative difference on our campus, creating opportunities for our faculty, staff and students, especially in the arts. Her vision focused on education tailored to specific people and specific places, from the recent support she provided for Herron School of Art and Design students to participate in a campus sculpture competition to the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture series, an endowed series that brings major contemporary artists to Herron to present their work and ideas. At IUPUI and beyond, Ms. DeHaan brought commitment to education as well as to enhancing and enriching the artistic environment.
In addition to all that she did for IUPUI, Ms. DeHaan generously supported the IU Jacobs School of Music. Through the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, she established the DeHaan Graduate Fellowship, which has played a key role in supporting the education of performers, scholars, composers, dancers, and music educators who influence performance and education around the globe. In addition, she made possible—time and again—world-premiere programming, especially in the area of Opera and Ballet Theater. As someone who built bridges and shared cultural richness, Ms. DeHaan also supported bringing Jacobs School Opera Theater productions to Clowes Hall at Butler University in Indianapolis.
In all that she did for Indiana colleges and universities and her visionary work supporting the education of children in Indianapolis and around the world, Christel DeHaan created a legacy that extends far into the future. I cannot express how grateful we are for all that she did, and I know that future generations will look upon her with gratitude amplified by the remarkable opportunities she made possible for them.
On a personal note, I will always remember talking with Christel for hours about three of our favorite topics: music, politics, and education. I looked forward to these conversations and now will cherish my memories of them.
As chancellor of IUPUI, I join my colleagues at Indiana University in mourning this great loss for our city, our state, our nation, and our world. The world has lost a bright light, and I have lost a good friend.