Lois Eskenazi


Bicentennial Medal (2019)
Honorary Degree (2018)
Doctor of Humane Letters
IU Undergraduate Commencement
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie
Presidents Circle Laurel Pin (2018)
Presidents Circle Laurel Pin (2013)
IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award (2007)


Lois Eskenazi grew up in Chicago. She came to Indiana University in Bloomington, where she earned a bachelor's degree that would enable her to work as a medical and lab technician. She later became a painter and has won recognition for her work from the Hoosier Salon and at the Indiana State Fair art exhibits.

Eskenazi and her husband, a successful lawyer and businessman, have been generous in giving back to their community and their alma mater. In 1970, they endowed a scholarship fund for students at both the Bloomington and Indianapolis law schools. They have also established scholarships at the Herron School of Art and Design and the IU Medical School, and have made endowment gifts to the Jewish Community Center-Indianapolis, the Hooverwood Jewish Home and the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. In 2007, Herron honored the Eskenazis by naming its new building Eskenazi Hall in recognition of their philanthropy. In 2011, the Eskenazis provided a $40 million to the Eskenazi Health Foundation new hospital facilities in downtown Indianapolis. The new hospital and and health system were named in the Eskenazi's honor.

In 2019, The Indiana University School of Art, Architecture + Design announced a landmark gift of $20 million from philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi. This gift, the largest in the school's history, coincided with the university's celebration of IU Day. As a result, the school will be renamed the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design in recognition of the couple's generosity and longstanding commitment to both IU and the arts. The Eskenazis' gift will support student scholarships, faculty development, academic programs, research initiatives and facility support for the school, which offers degree programs in 14 areas of study.

In 2018, Indiana University awarded Lois Eskenazi with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at its spring undergraduate commencement ceremony in Bloomington, Indiana for her outstanding achievement in the arts and humanities, and for her continued community engagement and public service.