Robert Payton, Co-Founder of Center on Philanthropy, Dies

Robert L. Payton, the founding director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and the first full-time professor of philanthropic studies in the country, has died, the NonProfit Times reports.

Payton served as director of CoP from 1988 to 1993 and was known as a champion of the study and teaching of philanthropy. "He helped create a movement to develop other centers," said CoP executive director Patrick Rooney. "There are now hundreds of programs on philanthropy around the country and the world [because of his leadership]."

Payton served as U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon from 1967 to 1969 and chaired Independent Sector's first research committee. In 2003, he received the John W. Gardner Leadership Award from IS in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the field of philanthropy.

"It is impossible to measure the scope of Bob's influence, as only the people involved will recall just how he inspired and supported their work," said Melissa Brown, former managing editor of Giving USA and a consultant with CoP. "He challenged staff at the center to be more, to think more, to read more, and think about what we read. He gave us opportunities to meet and interact with key leaders in the field, to try new ideas...and to live our lives consistently with the principles we advanced."

Paul Clolery. "Robert L. Payton Dies: First Head of the Center on Philanthropy." NonProfit Times 05/23/2011.