Remembering Christel DeHaan

We are all deeply saddened by the passing of Christel DeHaan. Christel was one of the world’s most notable business, academic and philanthropic leaders. Locally, she was our neighbor on the northwest side who built her life here, made her success here,  and continuously donated back to make Central Indiana a stronger community.  Christel was driven to succeed and inspired excellence in whatever she pursued.


As a United Way million dollar roundtable member, Christel believed in making transformational change happen, especially for children close to home and all around the world. She lived by a simple philosophy of “caring, sharing and making a difference,” which translated to better academic opportunities for all children. She spoke often about how alleviating poverty started with the foundation of education, and she put substantial resources behind it.  She believed everyone deserved a chance to succeed and inspired so many other philanthropists to follow her lead.


Christel DeHaan’s name is etched on buildings, in rooms, and on plaques all over our city, and rightly so. She deserves the visible reminder of her legacy as a staunch supporter of human creativity, knowledge, and resiliency.  But her greatest mark will be the generation of children who will benefit from her substantial effort to care, share, and make a difference.