Mari Hulman George passes at 83

Mari Hulman George has died at the age of 83. That's according to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Posted: Nov 3, 2018 7:52 AM
Updated: Nov 3, 2018 5:09 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHI) - A pillar in the Wabash Valley community has passed away.

Mari Hulman George has died at the age of 83. That's according to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Mari Hulman George (Photo Credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

Hulman George served as chairman of the board for Hulman & Company, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the IMS Foundation. She was also a longtime board member of First Financial Bank.

Hulman George touched many people through her passion for giving back, auto racing, and stewardship.

IMS says her funeral arrangements are being handled by Callahan and Hughes Funeral Home in Terre Haute, but arrangements are pending.

To view the full release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, click here

“Our mother was such a unique, wonderful person,” said Anton H. George, current Chairman of the Board at IMS to CBS 4 in Indianapolis. “She loved her family, friends, auto racing and animals with equal passion. She was a quiet pioneer in so many ways, from owning a race team in the 1950s and 1960s to overseeing a period of tremendous growth and evolution while chairman of the board at IMS. She was known by millions as the woman who gave the command to start engines for the Indianapolis 500 and other events at the Speedway, but her true legacy will be the generous and kind philanthropy she learned from her parents. That compassion and desire to help people and animals every day are the true hallmarks of her incredible life. We love her deeply and will miss her every day, while ensuring that her spirit and generosity live forever at IMS.”

Her loss’s impact extends behind just her family, and the racing world, with the president of IMS and the president and CEO of Hulman & Company releasing the following statements:

“Mari Hulman George was one of the nicest, most gentle people you would ever meet, but she also was an incredibly influential leader in American motorsports and the state of Indiana for the last 60 years. She combined a true passion for auto racing with a common, human touch toward all, especially drivers and fans. Generations of Hoosiers have benefited from her tireless charitable work, and her commitment to animal care is exemplary and a mirror of her kindness. We extend our sincere condolences to the entire Hulman-George family and will miss her greatly.”

– Mark D. Miles, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hulman & Company

“The Hulman family’s legacy will be felt for generations across Indiana. And, Mari Hulman George’s continuation of the family’s community leadership, giving spirit and compassion defines well the family and its Hoosier heritage. Mrs. George was committed to the long-term health of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a treasured Indiana asset, and her stewardship as chairman set the tone for staff and others involved with IMS. We were most impacted by her charitable heart and dedication to causes and organizations that made a difference to our community. While she will be missed deeply by fans, staff, friends and family, her presence and impact will be felt at IMS and across Indiana for years to come.”

– J. Douglas Boles, President, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Rose-Hulman President Jim Conwell also released this statement regarding the passing on Mari Hulman George.

"The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology community is saddened by the loss of Mari Hulman George, a friend and benefactor whose family relationship with the institute dates back more than a century. Her grandfather, Anton Hulman Sr., served on the Board of Managers of what was then Rose Polytechnic Institute beginning in the 1880s, and he and his brother, Herman, donated the 123 acres of land on which the institute now sits. Anton’s son, Anton (Tony) Hulman Jr. and his wife, Mary Fendrich Hulman—Mari’s parents—continued the family’s philanthropy, funding a student union in the 1960s and donating the assets of their family foundation to Rose in 1971, at which time the institute became Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Mari continued the family legacy of involvement and advocacy for Rose-Hulman, which earned her an honorary doctorate in 1998. She joined the board in 1989 and, after her tenure, remained an emeritus member of the board. Her son, Anton (Tony) Hulman George, continues the family legacy of service as a member of the current Board of Trustees."

"We are deeply indebted to Mari for support that contributed greatly in the institute becoming a national leader in science, engineering and math education. The institute purchased Mari’s property just south of the campus in 2017, and her home is now Hulman House, the president’s residence. It stands as a reminder of a life well lived and a testament to the personal connection that she had with the institute for so many decades before ill health intervened and took her away from Terre Haute. We send our condolences to Tony Hulman George and other members of the family, as well as to her many friends throughout the country."

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