Enid Goodrich

Perhaps it was the nurse in her that made Enid (Smith) Goodrich (1903–1996) such a generous spirit. An Indianapolis native, Enid Smith received a resident nursing degree from the city’s St. Vincent Hospital, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. When she married Indianapolis businessman and attorney Pierre Goodrich in 1941, she gained the financial means to match her generous spirit.

Enid Goodrich’s $40.4 million bequest to The Children’s Museum is the largest single gift in the museum’s history.

Pierre Goodrich believed in the value of education and hard work. A savvy businessman, he helped finance Eugene Pulliam’s company Central Newspapers, Inc., comprising two daily newspapers in Indianapolis and others in Muncie and Vincennes, Indiana, and Phoenix, Arizona. The investment made both Goodrich and Pulliam wealthy.

Involvement with The Children’s Museum

When Pierre Goodrich died in 1973 he left his wife a substantial fortune that she carefully managed over the years, supporting local educational and cultural projects and organizations including The Children’s Museum. During one visit to the museum she admitted that she’d always wanted to ride the Carousel but had been too timid to do so. On a subsequent visit she enjoyed her ride, an experience that made such an impression on her that she became a regular supporter of the museum. She served as a member of the museum’s Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1982, and was an Honorary Trustee from 1983 until her death in 1996. During this time, she generously donated over $100,000 each year to the museum’s unrestricted annual operating campaign.


Enid Goodrich died in 1996, and in 1997 the museum received an extraordinary, transformational bequest from her estate in the amount of $40.4 million—the largest single gift in its history. (Other beneficiaries of the estate included the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which also received $40 million, and the Liberty Fund, which received $80 million.)

The Children’s Museum designated the estate gift to establish The Enid Goodrich Educational Initiatives Fund, the income from which has been used to support a variety of strategic initiatives, including the development and installation of Dinosphere®: Now You’re in Their World, the Take Me There® gallery, The Power of Children®: Making a Difference exhibit, and the museum’s ongoing neighborhood redevelopment and revitalization initiatives.