The Lynn Society


The generosity of Charles and Dorothy Lynn, prominent Indianapolis citizens, philanthropists and champions of the arts, paved the way for future generations to enjoy live performances by one of the nation's most accomplished symphony orchestras.

Charles met Colonel Eli Lilly on a train from Chicago in 1895 and was offered a job in sales for the new pharmaceutical firm. During the next 50 years, Charles would rise through the company, eventually serving as a vice president and shareholder before retirement in 1945, when he wed Dorothy Black.

Both Charles and Dorothy were lifelong residents of Indianapolis and very active in the societal affairs of the city and state. In addition to serving as founder, director and first vice president of the Indiana State Symphony Society, Charles also was active in Second Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the Purdue University Board of Trustees, a founder and vice president of the Purdue Research Foundation, a member of the Hanover College Board of Trustees, and a trustee at Methodist Hospital – to name a few. Charles was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Dorothy was equally active, serving on the Women’s Committee North Group of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the President’s Council of Purdue University, the Historic Landmarks Association and Second Presbyterian Church, among several others. Dorothy also was the recipient of the Butler Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association of Butler University, her alma mater.

The Lynns’ advocacy for the arts spurred their tremendous support of the Symphony. The Lynns were generous donors throughout their lives, and ultimately, their bequest to the Symphony was the largest ever received by a major American orchestra for endowment purposes. Since 1995, legacy donors to the Symphony have been recognized as members of The Lynn Society for sharing in their philanthropic spirit and commitment to the Symphony’s on-going success.

If you would like to learn more about creating a legacy to benefit the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Office of Development is available to provide you and your legal/financial advisors with any information needed. *

Contact Casey Chell, Vice President of Development at

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra sincerely appreciates the generosity and support of all members of The Lynn Society. We celebrate every member who so thoughtfully commits to the sustainability and success of the orchestra. Because of you, the Symphony is able to perpetuate and expand the accomplishments of the organization for generations to come.

*Please consult your attorney and financial advisor concerning tax-related matters. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra holds all planned gift arrangements confidential, unless given express permission by the donor to disclose.

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