Thank you for a successful evening!

October 25, 2019
JW Marriott Indianapolis

thrive gala 2019

2019 Thrive Gala

Marian University has chosen to thrive, and that calls for celebration! Join us on Friday, October 25 at our Thrive Gala to hear more about how our people and our programs help our students--and greater community--thrive.

More than 2,000 of Indianapolis and surrounding area leaders, new friends, long-time supporters, alumni, and students will come together to celebrate the thriving of Marian University. All proceeds from the Thrive Gala go to support the Forging Leaders initiative-our $250 million fundraising initiative to support to the university’s growth through 2025.

Presented by



  • 27th Annual Mary McNulty Young '47 Opportunities for Excellence Scholarship Dinner
  • Dillon Family Distinguished Alumni Dinner
  • Progress of Forging Leaders: The Legacy We're Made For Initiative


Mike Alley
John A. Purdie Innovator Award
Chairman, Patriot Investments, LLC

mike alley

“Marian University cares deeply about each of its students and ensures their success by inculcating within each of them the strong Franciscan values which our society so desperately needs.”

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Mike Alley has been a long-time supporter of Marian University and has served on multiple fundraising committees and campaigns. He appreciates the efforts of the university to meet the needs of the community and the dedication to the Franciscan values.

Mike is chairman and owner of Patriot Investments, LLC, and is active on multiple corporate boards. Mike’s professional career is most often defined by his leadership of Fifth Third Bank of Central Indiana as president and chief executive officer from 1989 through 2002. During this time, Mike and his team built Fifth Third’s presence in the Central Indiana marketplace from $45 million in assets, two offices, and 29 employees to the third largest bank in the market with over $4 billion in assets, 74 offices and over 800 employees. Mike’s leadership encouraged strong community engagement, deep customer relationship building, and aggressive new business development. He is most proud of the exceptional team that he worked with in bringing about this transformative success.

Mike formed Patriot Investments in 2002 to facilitate his personal investing activities. Since that time, Patriot has provided investment capital to fifteen early stage companies and two mature operating companies.

At the request of Governor Mitch Daniels and reappointment by Governor Mike Pence, Mike served as Commissioner, Indiana Department of Revenue from 2012 through 2015. During this period, Mike and his team were able to restore critical control systems, implement a nationally recognized ID Theft and Tax Fraud model that prevented nearly $100 million in fraudulent tax refunds, and orchestrated a tax amnesty program generating over $150 million in revenue to the State of Indiana.

Mike currently serves on several non-profit boards including the Indianapolis Zoo and Indiana State University Foundation. Mike also serves on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education upon his appointment from Governor Eric Holcomb in 2018. Mike has maintained active engagement in post-secondary education in Indiana having previously served as a trustee of Indiana State University for ten years, including president of the Board of Trustees for three years.

Mike was graduated from Indiana State University in 1978 with a major in accounting. He is married to Amy Alley and they have one married daughter and two grandchildren. He enjoys family, golf, model railroading, gardening, reading, and traveling.

About the John A. Purdie Innovator and Mentor of the Year Award 

The John A. Purdie Innovator and Mentor of the Year Award is named for Marian University Trustee John A. Purdie, a certified public accountant and graduate of The University of Notre Dame and the Herman C. Krannert School of Business at Purdue University. Purdie served as president of Regency Windsor Capital, Inc., a family-owned real estate investment holding company in Florida.

Purdie is a member of Legatus of Indiana, and has also been involved with Right to Life of Indianapolis, the St. Luke’s Catholic Church Finance Council, the Indiana CPA Society, the American Institute of CPAs, and the Financial Executives Institute. Purdie and his wife, Pam, have been blessed with four children and five grandchildren.

Christopher LaMothe
Franciscan Values Award
CEO, Elevate Ventures

chris lamothe

“I deeply believe in the importance of faith and education and am excited about the amazing progress made and future ahead for Marian University in central Indiana.”

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Chris is a current member of the Klipsch Educators College board of visitors and enthusiastic supporter of Marian University’s ability to accomplish bold plans. Chris serves as the chief executive officer at Elevate Ventures where he sets the strategy and vision for the organization, oversees all programs and staff, and serves as the primary source for stakeholders, investors, board members, and entrepreneurs.

Other professional accomplishments include global executive vice president of Transportation & Industrials of Element Materials based in London, England. Prior to Element Materials, Chris served as a partner and chief executive officer of Sherry Laboratories, LLC., which was acquired by Element Materials. Additionally, he served as chief operating officer of Oxford Financial and was chief executive officer of the Trust Company of Oxford.  Chris also is the founder and chief executive officer of Ascendanci Ventures, LLC, which invests in private equity projects.

Chris also served as the chief executive officer and president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, where he led the vision, funding, and completion of numerous studies used to create a master plan for the economic direction of the state of Indiana.

He serves or served on the boards of multiple business and civic groups, including the Indianapolis Zoo, Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, Indianapolis 500 Festival Board, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and the ICC Foundation.

Chris also invests in and provides strategic and leadership consulting services to a number of firms. Chris holds an M.B.A. in Business Administration, Management and General from Indiana University and a B.S. in Marketing from Ball State University. Chris and his wife Julie have four children and reside in Indianapolis.

About the Franciscan Values Award

Marian University traces its roots to 1851, when the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana founded a teacher training school to serve the needs of the Catholic community in southeastern Indiana. The Sisters established Marian College in Indianapolis in 1937; today Marian University offers students an excellent education that emphasizes a Franciscan understanding of the sponsorship values of dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation, and responsible stewardship. These values represent the legacy of our founders and the foundation of our personal approach to educating the whole person. In honor of this legacy, each year Marian University presents the Franciscan Values Award in recognition of contributions to our community.

The Huntington Family
Dillon Family Distinguished Alumni Award
In memory of Mary Ann Busemeyer Huntington '57
Jim '17 and Jerilyn '87 Huntington
Christopher Huntington '15

huntington family

“We admire President Elsener and his predecessors for having the courage of their convictions to advance the vision of the Sisters of St. Francis. Now it's just exploded into the wonderful institution that it is today. We're so proud that Marian is a part of our Indianapolis community." -Mary Ann Busemeyer Huntington '57 (2017)

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Mary Ann Busemeyer Huntington ’57 studied education at Marian University and spent more than 20 years teaching kindergarten in the Indianapolis and Pike Township school systems. While her husband Robert didn’t attend Marian, for the Huntingtons, Knight Pride is a family affair as several children and grandchildren are Marian graduates. They have created the Robert and Mary Ann Busemeyer Huntington Endowed Scholarship for future educators, served on committees for university initiatives, and have supported an initiative for mental health within the college of osteopathic medicine.

Mary Ann believed that educators, nurses, and physicians trained with the foundation of Franciscan values will greatly impact the people and families they serve. Mary Ann passed away in March of 2019, but her family continues its commitment to Marian University. Her son and daughter-in-law Jim '17 and Jerilyn '87 Huntington and grandson Chris Huntington '15, along with her husband Bob and daughter Lynn Huntington Dimond are proud to be a Marian University family. 

About the Dillon Family Distinguished Alumni Award

The Dillon Family Distinguished Alumni Award is given to alumni who have: attained significant achievements in their careers; exhibited a spirit of mentoring by providing guidance, support, encouragement and leadership to Marian University students, faculty, staff, or to individuals in the broader community and contribute through personal leadership, to the development and growth of the individuals mentored; demonstrated outstanding contributions to the growth, development, and visibility of Marian University through gifts of energy, time, and talents; demonstrated a commitment to achieving peace and social justice through significant contributions in a professional or volunteer role; contributed significantly to the welfare of others through volunteering in direct service endeavors; or made outstanding contributions to the improvement of the civic, national, global, or religious community through professional or volunteer leadership.


Rafael Sánchez
WRTV-6 Anchor and Reporter

Rafael Sánchez is a Murrow and multiple Emmy award winning Investigative Reporter/Anchor at WRTV-6-ABC. This past June, he received another Emmy for reporting excellence. 

Every year, Sánchez enjoys participating in about 50 charitable events that raise money and awareness for organizations around Central Indiana. In June in 2017, he completed his 2016-2017 responsibilities as Community Engagement Co-Chair for United Way of Central Indiana and assisted in raising millions of dollars to improve education, financial stability, health and basic needs benefiting thousands of families across our region.

Sánchez came to the Hoosier State from the Bronx, New York to attend Franklin College of Indiana where he triple majored in Journalism, Political Science, and Spanish. As a college trustee of his alma mater, he values the importance that Indiana’s independent private colleges bring to workforce development and minimizing the “brain drain.”


After the dinner and program, the celebration continues with a cocktail lounge reception and dancing to the dynamic music of The Impalas.

JW Marriott Room reservations and parking

Make the most of your evening at Marian's Thrive Gala by taking advantage of a special room discount for gala attendees:

  • The discounted rate for standard rooms: $159 per night, plus taxes and fees.

Parking is available at the JW Marriott Indianapolis Washington Street Garage or the White River State Park Garage. Note parking in both garages may fill quickly. Please allow extra time for Friday rush-hour traffic, to find parking, and make your way into the hotel.

jw marriottJW Marriott Indianapolis
10 South West Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

  • Self-parking (no overnight):  $44 per vehicle
  • Valet parking (0-5 hours; no overnight): $49 per vehicle
  • Overnight parking: standard rates

Washington Street Garage
401 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

  • Connected to JW Marriott via skywalk
  • $20 per vehicle for up to six (6) hours

White River State Park Garage
650 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

  • $15 per vehicle for up to six (6) hours

Forging scholarships equals thriving students

Scholarships are pivotal in attracting talented students. Your support provides a transformational experience for our students—allowing them to thrive academically, spiritually, personally, and be prepared to lead in their field upon graduation.

scholarship infographic gala

Support annual scholarships or establish an endowed scholarships in one of the following areas:

  • Mike Alley Endowed Scholarship
  • Christopher LaMothe Endowed Scholarship
  • Huntington Family Endowed Scholarship
  • 21st Century Scholars
  • Bishop Simon Bruté Seminarians
  • Byrum School of Business
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Hispanic-Latin@ Scholars
  • Helping Hand Fund
  • Fred S. Klipsch Educators College
  • Leighton School of Nursing
  • Performing Arts
  • Saint Joseph’s College of Marian University - Indianapolis, Two-Year College
  • San Damiano Scholars
  • Student-Athletes

Sponsorship opportunities

Reception sponsor: RJE Business Interiors

RJE sponsor

Dessert sponsor

  • Recognition on the gala menu card
  • Social media recognition
  • Recognition in printed event program and on digital sponsorship display
  • One table of 10 at the gala with preferred table placement
  • $100,000

Entertainment sponsor: Fifth Third Bank

Fifth-third bank sponsor

Video sponsor: Estridge Foundation

estridge foundation

Alumni Reception Sponsor: Al '62 and Sue Leighton

Endowed Scholarship sponsor

  • Social media recognition
  • Recognition in printed event program and on digital sponsorship display
  • One table of 10 at the gala
  • $50,000

Skywalk sponsor - The Buckingham Foundation

Buckingham Foundation

Platinum Table sponsor

  • Recognition in printed event program and on digital sponsorship display
  • One table of 10 at the gala
  • $10,000

Gold Table sponsor

  • Recognition in printed event program
  • One table of 10 at the gala
  • $5,000

Gateway sponsor

Lift academyrepublic-airways

Printed Program sponsor


Individual ticket

  • $500

Pledges for sponsorships can be fulfilled over three to five years. All sponsorships at $50,000 or more are eligible to endow a scholarship in the donor/company's name.

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