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History

A VISION OF EUGENE AND MARILYN GLICK

The Indiana Authors Awards were established in 2009 through the vision and generosity of Eugene and Marilyn Glick as a way to honor the contributions of Hoosier authors to the literary landscape in Indiana and across the nation. The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation put that vision into action, working over the first decade to build a successful program that has annually recognized many authors.

In October 2018, Glick Philanthropies announced its desire to partner with a statewide organization to expand the reach of the awards, inspire even more Hoosiers to read and write, help springboard emerging authors’ careers, and further promote Indiana as a great place to be a writer or a reader.

In 2019, Glick Philanthropies invited Indiana Humanities, with its rich history of literary programming across the state, to power that vision. The Indiana Authors Awards will resume in 2020 as a biennial honor that awards the best books written by Hoosier authors in multiple categories. Going forward, the Indiana Authors Awards will encompass not just the prizes, but also a dynamic set of programs and communications initiatives to celebrate Indiana writers, shine a spotlight on the state’s literary community and deepen connections between Hoosier readers and writers.

THE GLICKS

EUGENE GLICK

Eugene Glick—along with his wife, Marilyn—was one of the most generous philanthropists in Indiana. In addition to establishing the Indiana Authors Award with the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, the Glick Philanthropies have invested substantially in the areas of affordable housing, education, arts and creative expression, basic needs and self-sufficiency. The Glick Philanthropies’ charitable impact includes establishing TeenWorks, a not-for-profit organization that empowers teens to achieve excellence in college, career and community.

Born in 1921, Mr. Gene Glick showed early entrepreneurial instincts as an advertising salesman on the Daily Echo at Indianapolis’s Shortridge High School and later as the operator of a charter bus service at Indiana University, where he earned a business degree. As described in Tom Brokaw’s bestseller The Greatest Generation, Mr. Glick served in World War II immediately after the Normandy invasion and as part of U.S. troops in Germany, he was one of the liberators of the Dachau concentration camp.

Returning to Indianapolis after the war, Mr. Glick developed the GI loan program for a downtown bank, where he realized he wanted to spend the rest of his life building homes for families. He and Marilyn married in 1947, and that year they started Indianapolis Homes, a builder of affordable homes. They built four houses the first year and went on to build hundreds more, customizing them with their own formulas for comfort and decorative details.

Indianapolis Homes evolved into the Gene B. Glick Company, one of the country’s leading apartment developers and operators. The company has built more than 30,000 residential units and now manages more than 17,000 units in 10 states. Mr. Glick’s emphasis on business integrity, sound management, scrupulous property supervision and excellence in all aspects of business won him numerous awards. He was a member of the National Housing Hall of Fame and a Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame laureate. He held an honorary doctorate of law degree from Butler University. Mr. Glick was chosen as an Indiana Living Legend by the Indiana Historical Society.

His story is told in his autobiography, Born to Build. Mr. Glick died in October 2013.

Marilyn Koffman Glick

Marilyn Koffman Glick was active in community work from an early age. At age seven, she was the youngest volunteer for the Jewish National Fund Flower Day in Detroit, where she spent her childhood. She was an honor student at Indianapolis’s Shortridge High School and received a business education. In the early days of her career, she advanced in the Indianapolis Life Insurance Company from a clerk in the policy loan department to the head of the reinsurance department and secretary to the vice president.

She applied her business skills to the two-person company she and her new husband Gene Glick started in 1947. As the business grew and Mrs. Glick became the mother of four girls, she transitioned to full-time parenting and community service. She made substantial personal leadership contributions to the Indiana State Symphony Society and its Young Audiences program, was president of the Borinstein Home Guild (now Hooverwood Guild) from 1966 to 1968, and founded People of Vision in Indiana.

Mrs. Glick began collecting glass art in the 1970s and was one of the nation’s most noted collectors. Part of her collection is on display at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Her artistic interests were reflected in Glick donations to the Indianapolis Art Center and its Marilyn K. Glick School of Art. Her contribution to the arts community was recognized by Gov. Evan Bayh, who appointed her to the Indiana Arts Commission, where she served for eight years. She and her husband were also honored with the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award.

She wrote of her eventful life in her autobiography Once Upon a Lifetime. Mrs. Glick died shortly after her 90th birthday in March 2012.