Eugene Glick—along with his late 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, Gene Glick showed early entrepreneurial instincts as an advertising salesman on the Daily Echo at Shortridge High School and later as the operator of a charter bus service at Indiana University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science from the School of Business. As described in Tom Brokaw’s bestseller “The Greatest Generation,” Mr. Glick served in World War II immediately after the Normandy Invasion, moving with the army to free France and destroy Nazi power. 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 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 passed away peacefully at home in October 2013.
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 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, she was president of the Borinstein Home Guild (now Hooverwood Guild) from 1966-1968, and she 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. 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 Governor 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 recent autobiography Once Upon a Lifetime. Mrs. Glick passed away peacefully shortly after her 90th birthday in March 2012.