SOUTH BEND — The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved naming the health sciences programs at IU South Bend as Vera Z. Dwyer Hall, in honor of the late wife of the founder of Michigan City-based Dwyer Instruments.

The transformation of the original building, built in 1969 as Riverside Hall to house the Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs, could not have happened without the strong relationship with the Vera Z. Dwyer Charitable Trust, according to a statement from IUSB Chancellor Terry L. Allison.

The Dwyer Trust has given $8.75 million to IUSC since 2014. In 2015, the university named the College of Health Sciences after her in recognition of a $5.85 million donation – the single largest gift ever given to the university. Since then, the Dwyer Trust has made donations to increase scholarships, endow two Health Sciences department chairs, and support the expansion and relocation of the newly named Dwyer Hall.

“Vera Dwyer created a charitable trust to improve education and health for Indiana residents,” Allison said. “The Dwyer Trust investment will continue to multiply as students graduate and serve in health sciences professions that serve the region, state and beyond. We are delighted to recognize the Trust’s generosity through the naming of Vera Z. Dwyer Hall.“

Vera Dwyer’s husband, James Dwyer, founded Dwyer Instruments in 1931 with his brother F.W. Dwyer, according to a statement from IUSB. Its first product was a fluid-filled inclined manometer used as a draft gauge in furnaces and boilers. The company moved to Michigan City in 1955 and is still headquartered in the city.

“Vera Dwyer believed in higher education and wanted to provide more opportunities for students in Indiana to go to college,” according to David Kibbe, president and CEO of Indiana Trust Wealth Management, which manages the Dwyer Trust.

“She also wanted to make sure there was quality healthcare in the area, and was especially concerned for those who could not afford it. IU South Bend is helping her wishes come true.”

The IUSB Health and Wellness Center is now located in Dwyer Hall and serves students, faculty, and staff. It was located on the second floor of the Student Activities Center. Health care services will be expanded to include community residents through a partnership with HealthLinc, a healthcare provider.

Having HealthLinc on campus will provide excellent teaching and learning opportunities to students in nursing, radiography, clinical laboratory sciences, and other health professions, Allison said. HealthLinc already operates a dental clinic in the Education and Arts Building in conjunction with the university’s dental hygiene program.

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