Alumni Spotlight: Amy Balcius
On the 30th anniversary of IUDM, we would like to honor some of the inspiring alumni who embodied the FTK spirit and paved the way for what IUDM is today.
What do you believe is your greatest impact on IUDM?
This is a hard question to answer for yourself, but as I look back, I’m most proud of being a founding member of IUDM in 1991, creating Riley Development in 1992 and being part of the second Exec who really established IUDM as an annual event on campus, and serving as President in 1993 when we began to teach other universities how to replicate the IUDM model. More recently, I’ve really enjoyed serving as a mentor and sounding board to Alumni Board and Exec members.
To be honest, I’d rather talk to people about the impact IUDM has had on me across three decades of my life. From creating lifelong best friends, to providing direction and purpose in both my professional and personal life, from giving me opportunities to grow and develop as a leader, to giving my entire family the gift of being part of something bigger than ourselves. I’m incredibly grateful for my involvement with IUDM and the memories I’ve made to last a lifetime.
“The first ever Riley D Committee, started in 1992. Yes, that’s the entire committee!”
What is your favorite memory?
I have so many favorite memories across the past 30 years, it’s hard to pick just one. I was incredibly privileged to be involved on Exec the first three years of IUDM--to see the initial idea come together, begin to grow and develop and ultimately take hold as one of the premier student-run philanthropies in the country. The total reveal is always a favorite moment for me (and I’ve seen many over the years!), as well as getting to participate in Day of Hope as an alum. My most recent favorite memory was watching my daughter run into the Tennis Center for the first time at the kickoff of the IUDM last fall, wearing my dancer t-shirt from 1991.
“Presenting the first check to Riley for $10,900 accompanied by Jeanne White and Dr. Martin Kleiman (Ryan White’s doctor).”
“At the IUDM 2019 kickoff with my daughter Sofia--a 36-hour dancer! She’s wearing the dancer t-shirt from 1991.”
Why did you begin your journey with IUDM?
I was asked by my friend Kristi Engle Gaynor, the President of Panhellenic at the time, to come to an exploratory meeting to host an IU event in memory of Ryan White. At that meeting, Jill Stewart Wabel, who was good friends with Ryan, as well as Bryan Neale (President of the Inter-Fraternity Council) and Kristi--walked a small group of us through the idea. Little did we know that we would be creating a new student group that 30 years later is still going strong, breaking records and giving students an unbelievable opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves.