IU School of Education mourns passing of Edward A. Otting

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It is with profound sadness that the Indiana University School of Education notes the passing of Edward A. Otting, 80, of Indianapolis, on February 19, 2012.
Otting and his wife, Mary Lou, have been tremendous supporters of preparing teachers in special education at the IU School of Education. They have established the Otting Chair in Special Education, currently held by Dr. Erna Alant, and also the Otting Special Education Scholars Fund. Ed held many positions in local and state organizations that serve people with developmental disabilities, including Stone Belt in Bloomington.

“Ed was extremely generous in his support of IU and the community,” said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the IU School of Education. “His endowed chair has allowed us to bring some of the world’s best special education scholars to our School to help prepare future special education teachers and do significant research in this field.”

The Ottings have contributed $1.2 million in support of the Otting Chair in Special Education and in 2002 made a $2 million gift to establish the Otting Special Education Scholars Fund.

Erna Alant, professor and Otting chair in special education, said Ed Otting has been a great inspiration in helping her to set up activities in working with people with disabilities in Bloomington.

“It has been a great honor to have known and interacted with a man who truly understood the importance of ensuring opportunities for all in our community,” Alant said. “His presence will remain with us as we continue to develop teaching and research activities in developmental disabilities – an endeavor that was made possible by the Otting Chair.”

Otting received a B.A. in 1953 and an M.B.A. in 1957, both from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. An Army veteran of the Korean War, Ed came back to his hometown of Indianapolis and spent his entire working career at Eli Lilly and Company, retiring as Corporate Director of Information Systems. After his retirement, he worked for several years at the Kelley School of Business. He also served as the School of Education’s representative on IU’s Matching the Promise campaign that raised $1.2 billion for the university, including $30 million for the School of Education. 

In 1999, the Ottings were inducted into the university’s prestigious Presidents Circle, which recognizes the university’s most generous philanthropic leaders. Ed and Mary Lou are also members of IU’s Arbutus Society, which honors those who have made a provision to support tomorrow’s students and faculty.

Ed is survived by his wife, Mary Lou, and daughter, Angela.