Jim Fielding feels like he has come full circle. Initially earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and management from Indiana University, he has returned to IU as a staff member. A veteran consumer products executive, Fielding has worked in a variety of positions, including president of Consumer Products and Innovation for Fox Television Group and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, global head of consumer products and retail at DreamWorks Animation, and CEO of Claire’s Stores, Inc. Now, he has joined IU as an executive in residence, where he works with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Marketing and Communications, and the IU Ventures Group as an in-house advisor.
“Each of these groups has asked me to work with and help support their missions along with the mission of the university,” Fielding said. “I’ve also partnered with Archer Gray, a New York-based media company, to keep one foot in the world I came from and continue my work in film, television, and theater.”
Fielding was looking for an opportunity to bring his 30 years of experience to the Midwest and found it at IU. He has since settled in Indy, where he is close to many friends he considers his chosen family.
“Whenever I’d come to IU, I was always inspired and motivated by the work being done,” Fielding said. “I’ve always been a lifelong learner, and I’m consistently impressed and awed by the level of talent and experience demonstrated by IU.”
Fielding is no stranger to IU. In addition to graduating from IU, he is a founding member of the Queer Philanthropy Circle, the nation’s first LGBTQ+-focused giving circle, and has funded multiple scholarships—he calls them the Fielding Family Legacy scholarships.
One of these scholarships is the James D. Fielding Student Advocacy and Leadership Award. Given to both full-time undergraduate and graduate students from any IU campus, this scholarship gives preference to training and development activities on LGBTQ+ issues with the ultimate goal of building future leaders and advocates for civil and human rights. “I want individuals to access personal networking and development opportunities,” Fielding says. He considers this scholarship a form of mentorship, guiding those awarded the scholarship and providing a payoff that will last for years to come. “Those I’ve been in contact with who’ve received this scholarship constantly reaffirm the intent of the scholarship,” Fielding said. “As global citizens, we need to do our best to make the world a better place. And sometimes you need to be trained and exposed and developed to do that.”
His other two scholarships, the James D. Fielding Family Study Abroad Scholarship and the James D. Fielding Internship Abroad Scholarship, both focus on study abroad—an aspect of university life that greatly influenced Fielding’s college experience.
“I’m really appreciative of the Indiana University Foundation, who listened to me and what causes are important to me and helped me create vehicles to donate in that way,” Fielding said. Additionally, he states these scholarships also honor his parents.“I’d been looking for a way to honor my father and my family overall because they made Indiana possible for me,” Fielding said.
To apply for the James D. Fielding Student Advocacy and Leadership Award, please visit the OVPDEMA scholarship page. To learn more about the James D. Fielding Internship Abroad Scholarship, please visit the Hamilton Lugar School scholarship page.