If you’re a local, you know the name Coquillard. There’s Coquillard Primary Center, on South Bend’s west side, and Coquillard Park, one of the City’s oldest neighborhood parks. Coquillard Drive winds its way through South Bend’s northeast. All of these landmarks are named in honor of Alexis Coquillard, the fur trader and explorer who, in the 1820s, founded the city of South Bend.
Not only did the Coquillard family have a long relationship with our community, it was also a deeply intertwined and committed one. Alexis Coquillard II, the nephew of our city’s founder, believed that if one were in a position to contribute to the community, he or she had a responsibility—and a duty—to do so.
Alexis Coquillard II’s grandson, George Coquillard, lived up to that commitment. Born in 1919, George was a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. Despite his own Ivy League education, George wanted to help people get the practical skills they needed to achieve a better life. He believed that the best way to do this in his hometown was to support students who attended Ivy Tech. He knew that Ivy Tech students were likely to continue to live and work here in South Bend after graduation, so helping those students complete their degrees would have a positive impact on our whole community.
When George Coquillard died in 2018, he left a significant bequest to the Community Foundation through his estate plan, designed to benefit Ivy Tech students. George’s generosity ensures that the Coquillard family will continue to be known for its commitment to our community, now and long into the future.