Melvin Simon


IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award (2007)
Honorary Degree (1991)
Doctor of Laws
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich


Melvin Simon, Chairman of the Board of Melvin Simon & Associates, Inc., was renowned in the United States and abroad for his ability to use the processes of real estate development as creative and innovative tools in building communities and advancing social well being. He headed one of the largest real estate development companies in the country, and served on the executive boards of many national organizations in his profession.

Mr. Simon received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the City College of New York in 1949, and a Master of Science in Business and Real Estate in 1951. During his lifetime career in real estate development he was a strong supporter of public service and charitable organizations in Indiana and across the nation. He served on the boards of the Jewish Welfare Federation, United Cerebral Palsy, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and United Jewish Appeal, and was a member of the Executive Committee of St. Vincent's Foundation. He was a trustee of the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers, and co-owner of the Indiana Pacers.

Mr. Simon's active commitment to the betterment of communities, combined with his clear vision of the qualities communities require as supportive environments for social as well as business productivity, enabled him to contribute significantly to the progress of the State of Indiana. He was long a wise counselor to the Indiana University School of Business. His support greatly benefited academic research and scholarship in the areas of real estate and land use, as well as community programs and achievements in the arts.

Melvin Simon received numerous honors for public service, including the Pathfinder Award of the State of Indiana for his special care and concern for Hoosier children. He also received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger Award of the Boys Club of Indianapolis, and an honorary doctorate from Butler University. He was named Man of the Year by the Jewish Welfare Foundation, and was inducted into the Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame in 1989. He also received an IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award in 2007 in recognition of his and his wife's gift that established the Joshua Max Simon Cancer Research Fund at the Indiana University Cancer Center and expanded the Cancer Center's patient care facility.