Tonja Eagan

Building a Foundation for Student Experience

Tonja Eagan is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, with a 25-year career as a nonprofit manager and leader. She attended IUPUI, earning both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in public affairs. She feels a perfect scholarship for her to have had while in college would have been one that would have enabled her to work on campus so she could be close to her classes, fellow students, and faculty role models.

As an alumna of Indiana University, she values the education and enrichment she received as a student. Eagan believes that at IUPUI, University College is the foundation upon which an undergraduate student’s experience is built. She knows that students benefit from the peer mentors, tutors, study groups, social organizations, and academic advising through University College. 

Thus, Eagan decided to impact higher education and IUPUI undergraduates by establishing a $10,000 endowment fund to support the mentoring program in University College (Mentoring Impact Fund, account 0380010424). She considers herself a philanthropist and feels that anyone can be a philanthropist if they make the choice to do so; and she encourages others to make that choice—to be, specifically, a higher education philanthropist.

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When the tide rises, all boats rise.

Tonja Eagan

When Eagan thinks of college students’ success, she thinks of the saying, “When the tide rises, all boats rise.” With every successful college graduate who becomes gainfully employed, everyone else will benefit by having a better community. People need to view college as an essential thread in the fabric of building a stronger community. Eagan firmly believes that our young people are the makers and controllers of our future, and so we need to invest in them.

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