Former Director

MARY TILTON 1942–2006 Former Executive Director of the Patten Foundation

For thirty years until her unexpected death in December 2006, Mary Coffman Tilton served as the Executive Director of the Patten Foundation.

During her tenure, she welcomed such renowned scholars and leaders as writers Umberto Eco and Toni Morrison, linguist Noam Chomsky, astrophysicist Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, Indian development economist Amartya Sen, zoologist John Richard Krebs, and composer Joan Tower.

Mary’s commitment to the IU and Bloomington community did not , however, stop at the Patten steps. Much of her professional, charitable, and volunteer activities centered on music: she held a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Wooster College and a Master of Arts degree from the Yale School of Music. Her doctorate degree, in literature and performance of early music, is from the School of Music at Indiana University. A talented harpsichordist, she taught and performed throughout her life, and encouraged the study and appreciation of Baroque music. As president of the board of Early Music Associates, she helped firmly establish the annual Bloomington Early Music Festival. A member of the Trinity Episcopal Church, she performed in the choir.

With great sadness, but with lasting appreciation, Indiana University—and the Patten Foundation in particular—honor Mary Tilton and her contribution to enriching all of our lives.

A tree has been planted in her memory near the southeast corner of the Musical Arts Center. Click here for map. A music scholarship endowment, the Mary Coffman Tilton Memorial Fund, has also been recently established. Those interested in making a gift to this fund may do so by contacting the IU Foundation: 812-855-8311 or 800-558-8311.