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MFRI Giving Initiative

Support the Military Family Research Institute

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University is undertaking a comprehensive fundraising effort to fully realize $1.5 million in matching funds received as part of a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The institute, which is dedicated to helping veterans and military families live more satisfying lives, will use all funds to support its research and outreach programs. 

You can learn more about the grant here.

The options listed below are for cash gifts only. Deferred giving is available on a case-by-case basis. Qualifying funds must be raised by October 31, 2025. 

This is a unique opportunity for you to double the impact of your gift!

Make Your Gift Today

MFRI welcomes contributions of any size from those interested in supporting its ongoing endeavors. You can give now or learn more about giving on MFRI’s giving page.

Giving Opportunities

Additional giving opportunities are available. Please review the options below and contact Jim Priest, director of foundation relations at the Purdue for Life Foundation, at if you are interested.

Naming of the Institute

A $3 million gift to name the institute will support an endowment to better equip the director and staff to sustainably help shape policies, programs, and practices that improve the overall well-being of military and veteran families.

Naming of Senior Directorships

A $2 million gift—or two $1 million gifts—will name two senior directorships. These key leaders are important to overseeing operations and supporting the executive director’s many projects and initiatives.

Establishing a Research Development Fund

This $500,000 fund will support research development, a critically important aspect of the institute’s continued success through innovation. This fund will support:

  • Cutting-edge research projects that generate important new knowledge about issues confronting military and veteran families.
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations with Purdue faculty to develop creative strategies for addressing issues faced by military and veteran families.
  • Engagement and collaboration with Purdue students, helping them pursue their educational and career goals while also preparing them to work with military and veteran families in the future.

Establishing a Community Outreach Fund

This $500,000 fund will enable MFRI staff, Purdue faculty, and students at the university to conduct outreach and engagement activities while also supporting critical programs like Star Behavioral Health Providers, Measuring Communities, Reaching Rural Veterans, and Focus Forward Fellowship. These programs use evidence-based practices to improve the quality of life of military and veteran families.

Naming of a Focus Forward Fellowship Cohort

A $150,000 gift will allow up to 20 female student veterans to attend the in-person Focus Forward Fellowship program and participate in the online community throughout the year. Female veterans face many challenges their peers do not, and this competitive national mentoring program sets them on a path to academic and professional success.

If you are interested in one or more of the above options, please contact Jim Priest, director of foundation relations at the Purdue for Life Foundation, at

Purdue for Life Foundation

Patsy J. Mellott

BS College of Health and Human Sciences, 1969
Fishers, IN

Patsy earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition in business from Purdue in 1969, in addition to an MBA in food marketing from Michigan State University in 1970. She retired from Kraft Foods in 2006 after 36 years in corporate food marketing and marketing communications management.

A community volunteer, Patsy serves on the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana Advisory Board and the Purdue College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, in addition to the President’s Council Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Health and Human Sciences Alumni Board. Patsy held several offices from 2006 through 2013, including president and treasurer. She serves her community’s Discover Indianapolis Club in Fishers, holding several leadership roles for over 10 years.

Patsy has received several honors, including the Purdue University Nutrition Science Department Hall of Fame recipient in 2009 and the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. She also received the college’s Gold and Black Award in 2016, an honor reserved for donors who have moved the college forward by committing exceptional financial resources.

In addition to endowing two scholarships, the Patsy J. Mellott Scholarship and Patsy J. Mellott HHS Scholarship, she established the Patsy J. Mellott Teaching Innovation Award in the College of Health and Human Sciences in 2013. In 2015, she endowed the Patsy J. Mellott Women’s Tennis Coach Performance Award. She is a lead donor in the Christine M. Ladisch Faculty Leadership Award and the Purdue Women’s Network Virginia C. Meredith Scholarship for the College of Health and Human Sciences.