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Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library


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In Memory of Robert L. Payton

Robert Payton Images

The IUPUI University Library remembers with deep appreciation Robert L. Payton. Mr. Payton was a pioneer in the field of philanthropy, and played a leading role in establishing philanthropy as an academic discipline. He became the first ever professor of Philanthropic Studies at IUPUI and was a founding Director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. He and his wife, Pauline, established the Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library at IUPUI, one of the finest collections on philanthropy and the non-governmental sector worldwide.

Mr. Payton is the author of countless publications, including Philanthropy: Voluntary Action for the Public Good, and Understanding Philanthropy: Its Meaning and Mission. During his lifetime he earned many honors, including several honorary doctorates, and the John W. Gardner Leadership Award. He served on numerous private and non-profit advisory boards; he was a president of the Exxon Education Foundation, as well as a university president at C. W. Post College and Hofstra University in New York. He also served his country as U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Cameroon under Lyndon Johnson, and as a paratrooper in World War II.

Above all, he was a remarkable public teacher and philanthropist, inspiring action through "books, ideas, talk."

“Bob was integral to the development of both the Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library and the Philanthropy Archives, in terms of his personal support and his influence on others who donated records, papers and funds. The library collections were always a part of his vision for the Philanthropic Studies program and that’s why we have the premier collection in the world in this field. He was a wonderful broad thinker who inspired the creation of a one-of-a-kind resource that today fosters the work of a wide community of students, scholars and practitioners on our campus and across the globe.”
—David Lewis, Dean of the University Library at IUPUI

A special tribute event recognizing Robert Payton was held Saturday, October 1, 2011 at University Library. If you were unable to attend in person, please read the Payton Memorial Guestbook or watch the video of the October 1st event.

If you would like to make a donation to the Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library in Mr. Payton’s name, you may do so by clicking the button below and pasting the following account number into the second second box provided: 38P017015

give now

If you would like to make a contribution by check please make it out to “The IU Foundation,” in the memo line write “Payton Philanthropic Studies Library” and send it to:

IUPUI University Library
755 West Michigan St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Attn: Director of Development


 If you have questions, please call us at 317-274-0462. Thank you for your support.

Updated Jun 28, 2017 by Fran Huehls, Philanthropic Studies Librarian