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United Way campaign co-chairs, goal

Mattie White and Paul Helmke
Mattie White and Paul Helmke

Two campus leaders have stepped up to co-lead this year’s Indiana University Bloomington United Way campaign: Mattie White, deputy director of IU Athletics, and Paul Helmke, a professor of practice in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

United Way of Monroe County provides crucial support to individuals, agencies and partners in Green, Owen and Monroe counties on issues such as rapid disaster relief, hunger and homelessness, and tax preparation services. IU Bloomington is consistently the largest contributor to the campaign; in 2020, the campus surpassed the campaign goal of $785,000 and raised $787,782 — 66% of the entire community fundraising total of $1,186,742.

About Mattie White

Mattie White, deputy director of IU Athletics and the 2021 IU-United Way Campaign Co-Chair

Now in her 16th year at IU, White is a deputy director of IU Athletics and the department’s senior woman administrator, overseeing academic services, sports medicine, nutrition and all student-athlete development programs. She is the sport administrator for the women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling programs, and she serves as the department’s liaison to various student affairs units on campus.

Her background as an academic advisor, multicultural life director and life skills coach are a good match for the campaign, which connects the people of Indiana University with the causes and issues they care about in the community.

“For generations, the United Way has provided critical resources and support that have strengthened our community and improved the lives of all Hoosiers,” White said. “When you contribute to the United Way — whether through a financial donation or with your time — you make a life-altering difference for those who need your support the most.”

White is pursuing a Ph.D. in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, specializing in health behavior.

About Paul Helmke

Helmke, former president and CEO of the Brady Center/Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and three-term mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a professor of practice in the O’Neill School and founding director of the Civic Leaders Living-Learning Center.

Paul Helmke, professor of practice, Paul H. O'NeillSchool of Public and Environmental Affairs

Helmke is an IU alumnus who graduated with highest distinction in 1970. As an undergrad, he was student body president during an era of student protest and activism and was selected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1973, he graduated from Yale Law and won on the TV game show “Jeopardy!”

In the 1990s, he was appointed to federal cabinet advisory committees dealing with violence against women and school-to-work transitions. He served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors during his final term in office.

“As our community continues to emerge to a new ‘normal’ after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we come together to make sure that no one is being left behind,” Helmke said. “The challenges facing our health care providers, social service agencies and others working to make this a better place for all are very serious. I’m looking forward to all of us at IU once again doing our part to make our United Way and the campaign to support it more successful than ever before.”

At the official IU United Way kickoff event on Sept. 24, Helmke announced this year’s campus campaign goal, which is calculated using employee raises and cost of living. This year’s goal is $795,990.

A brief history

The existing IU-United Way relationship was strengthened in 1990, when Ellen R. Ehrlich, an early champion of the agency, founded the Vanguard leadership giving program. That initial philanthropic spirit has expanded into a campus-wide effort that now relies upon up to 30 volunteer “team captains” across campus, more than 90 “unit leaders” and two co-chairs.

Past co-chairs include former IU Athletics director Fred Glass, Kelley School of Business Dean Idie Kesner, Vice Provost for Enrollment David Johnson, Secretary of the Board of Trustees Debbie Lemon and Executive Associate Athletic Director Anthony Thompson. This is the only nonprofit officially supported by the university, and it directly resonates with one of IU’s core values: respect for the dignity of others.

The IU Bloomington campaign is managed by Kirk White, vice provost for external relations at IU Bloomington and assistant vice president of strategic partnerships for IU.

Check out a video about United Way and IU.