The James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship has as its mission to assume a leadership role in preparing the next generation of American citizens. Center focus is on providing programs and resources for educators to implement more powerful citizenship education that promotes active student involvement in schools and communities.
The Ackerman Center coordinates multiple professional development opportunities each year for K-12 educators, including Project Citizen curriculum support, the Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Educator Workshop, and the Ackerman Summer Institute. The Ackerman Center is also proud to coordinate the celebration of Constitution Day for Purdue University and support the Corporate Citizenship and Ethics speaker series.
In 1994, James F. Ackerman gave a generous gift to the School of Education at Purdue University to endow the Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship. Mr. Ackerman was committed to improving participation in our democratic society and wanted to fund a Center that would promote civics, economics, and ethics.
Jim Ackerman was a resident of Indianapolis, an active member of the business community, and a philanthropist supporting causes such as Muscular Dystrophy and numerous others. Jim was a Purdue graduate (in Agricultural Economics) and maintained close ties to the University, also giving a large gift to help fund the Ackerman Hills Golf Course at Purdue.
Jim Ackerman was a pioneer in the cable industry as he began financing cable companies in 1959 as a Senior Vice President of Economy Finance and Executive Vice President of Indianapolis Morris Plan, an Indiana Industrial Bank. Jim spent 24 years with these companies before creating his own specialized cable investment firm in 1971.This firm was merged in 1973 and became Becker Communication Associates, a cable TV venture capital company. From 1971 to 1993, Jim was the CEO of Cardinal Communications, a cable television company headquartered in Indianapolis which ran cable operations throughout the state of Indiana. This company was sold in 1993 at which time it was the 70th largest cable operation in the U.S. He was a President of Cardinal Ventures, LLC., a private equity firm formed in 1993 to invest in growth companies throughout the Midwest. In addition, he was President of Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana.
Jim was married to Lois Ackerman and had three children and four grandchildren.
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