- Honorary Degree (2008)
Doctor of Humane Letters
Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center Dedication
Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie
- IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award (2007)
BIOGRAPHYBren Simon is the president of MBS Associates Inc., LLC, a property management company headquartered in Carmel, Ind. From 1995 to 1998, Mrs. Simon was president of Gambit Capital Management, an investment company. From 1975 to 1995, she was the owner of Corporate Design Associates Inc. Her work has been published in a variety of magazines, including Architectural Digest.
Mrs. Simon, like her late husband Mel, supports numerous charitable, political and civic organizations. In addition to directing both the Mel and Bren Simon Charitable Trust and the Max Simon Charitable Trust, Mrs. Simon is co-founder of The Family Support Center, a 24-hour child abuse care center. She is also a member of the board of directors of CHIP (the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention) and the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. She serves on the board of advisors for the Indiana Children's Wish Fund, the Heartland Film Festival and Dance Kaleidoscope. She is a trustee of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indiana Museum of African American History and the Indianapolis Zoo Executive Prize Committee.
In 1998, Mrs. Simon began working with the Mission International Rescue Foundation (MIR), which serves the children and young women of La Romana, Dominican Republic. She is responsible for the creation of the Centro de Promocion Rural Max Simon (The Center of Rural Promotion Max Simon), an orphanage that provides a safe environment for boys who have been abandoned, abused or are living in extreme poverty. Mrs. Simon also created the Bren Simon MIR Foundation Girls' Vocational School.
In 1997, Mrs. Simon was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities from Northwood University in Florida. In 1998, she and her late husband were honored as "Man and Woman of the Year" by the Anti-Defamation League. In 2008, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities from Indiana University.
In 2006, Mrs. Simon and her husband gave an extraordinary gift to the Indiana University Cancer Center. The donation was used to advance cancer research and patient care initiatives. Half of the gift established the Joshua Max Simon Cancer Research Fund, an endowment named in memory of their son, to recruit top-flight researchers to the School of Medicine and to support scientific research programs at the cancer center. The remainder funded the expansion of the cancer center's patient care facility, a collaboration of the School of Medicine and Clarian Health. In recognition of the Simons' leadership in giving, the cancer center was named the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.