Indiana State University on Friday announced its largest individual donation ever — $8 million from Steve and Gloria Bailey — and the ISU Board of Trustees approved the naming of the Bailey College of Engineering and Technology (BCET).

The gift reflects ISU’s dedication to STEM education, the strength of its engineering program, and its support of the state of Indiana’s workforce goals. The donation will create scholarships, faculty fellowships, and a Dean’s fund, with a goal of attracting even more great students and faculty. ISU is currently conducting a nationwide search for a new Dean.

“We are deeply grateful to Steve and Gloria Bailey for this historic gift,” ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis said. “It shows great confidence in the mission of Indiana State University and generous support for our tremendous faculty and students. As an alumnus, Steve built upon his experience at ISU to become incredibly successful in business. With this gift, Steve and Gloria will impact more lives than we can imagine and leave a lasting legacy.”

Steve Bailey is a 1971 alumnus of ISU who graduated with a degree in automotive technology and went on to lead Diesel USA Group as CEO until his retirement in 2019. He serves on the College of Technology Dean’s Advisory Council and the ISU Foundation Board of Directors.

Gloria worked in interior design and human resources before her retirement in 2014. In 2020, she helped Interior Architecture Design students at ISU to redesign and furnish the atrium in the John T. Myers Technology Center.

The Baileys, who live in Naples, Florida, and Louisville, are loyal supporters of ISU and have been heavily involved in the advancement of engineering and technology students through their generous donations. Last month, the Baileys were honored as March On! Award recipients in recognition of their philanthropy to ISU.

“Gloria and I are so impressed with the direction of Indiana State under President Curtis’ leadership,” Steve Bailey said. “We have seen firsthand the great work being done to provide first-generation college students with a high-quality education through mentorship, curriculum, and experiential learning. We feel passionately that the three prongs in this gift — the student scholarships, the faculty fellowships, and the dean’s fund — will positively impact the lives of engineering and technology students for years to come.”

Said Gloria Bailey: “Every facet of Indiana State, and this gift, excites us because we know how much of an effect it can have on students. Steve attributes much of his success in his career to his time at Indiana State. We are hopeful that this gift will be the best investment of our lives.”

The Bailey College of Engineering and Technology received ABET accreditation for its engineering program in August 2022. The college currently holds 13 ABET accredited programs. ABET accreditation verifies that programs provide the quality standards of the profession that’s being taught.

“This is an exciting time for engineering and technology students, faculty, and staff at Indiana State,” said Dr. Jim Smallwood, Interim Dean of the Bailey College of Engineering and Technology. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to amplify our programs and recruit more gifted students thanks to the Baileys’ belief in our mission.”

The gift will be used for three funds. The first will create Bailey College of Engineering and Technology Scholars for incoming freshmen majoring in a program within the college. The  $3,000 scholarships are renewable for up to two years. Fifty such scholarships will be offered in Fall 2023, the inaugural year.

The second fund will be the Bailey Faculty Fellowship Fund, a $10,000 award to five outstanding faculty members. The fellowships, renewable for up to three years, fund activities such as research and conferences but do not supplement salaries. The fund will not only recognize high-achieving faculty members already at ISU but will help the university recruit new faculty to the BCET.

The third fund provides support to the Dean of the college. The gift will dedicate $50,000 to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence for the first three years of the donation. The fund will assist the Dean with new industry partnerships, expanding existing partnerships, and recruiting students.

The gift implements a new vision to adjust and restructure current BCET programs to meet ever-changing industry needs and prepare students for careers using applied learning. The altruism of the Baileys paves the way for the creation of additional opportunities in the BCET by funneling funds in support of students, faculty, and programming.

“Steve and Gloria Bailey are the embodiment of joyful giving,” said Andrea Angel, Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation. “They have been boldly supportive of our institution by volunteering their time, dedicating their resources, and creating experiential learning opportunities for the betterment of our engineering and technology students. Their recent gift is transformational, and I am humbled by their generosity and faith in the mission of Indiana State University.”

Photo of Steve and Gloria Bailey

Logo for the Bailey College of Engineering and Technology

Media contacts: 

Mark Alesia, Director of University Communication 

(O) 812-237-3837 

(C) 812-229-8020 

[email protected]

Dianne Powell, Associate Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-8764

(C) 812-878-2131

[email protected]

By Tara