Celebration and Naming Announcement for the Indiana University School of Nursing Champion Center for Cancer Control Research

Indiana Historic Landmark Center
1201 Central Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana
October 27, 2016

Introduction

Thank you, Dean [Robin] Newhouse.

I am very pleased to be here today to help celebrate the success of the Indiana University School of Nursing and the school’s longstanding tradition of transformative research that advances the science of nursing and touches and improves hundreds of thousands of lives.   

I am very pleased to welcome a number of senior leaders of Indiana University and friends of IU who are with us today. I will ask them to stand as I introduce them, and I ask that you hold your applause until all are introduced. With us are:

  • a member of the IU Board of Trustees, Dr. Phil Eskew, and his wife, Ann Eskew, who is an alumna of the IU School of Nursing;
  • Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law Fred Cate, who is Indiana University’s vice president for research—and who is here with his wife, Beth, who is a faculty member in IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs;

and

  • Dennis Murphy, president and CEO of IU Health, which is, of course, a vital partner of Indiana University, the number one hospital system in our state, and one that has been nationally-ranked for nearly two decades. Dennis is here with his wife, Kristy.

Would you join me in welcoming these colleagues?

Indiana University's Commitment to Research that Benefits the State, Nation, and World

In 2020, Indiana University will celebrate its Bicentennial. It will be an occasion for all of us who are part of IU—and for alumni and friends around the world—to reflect with pride on all that IU has achieved in the previous 200 years. 

The Bicentennial is also an occasion for us to look to the future and to continue to build the foundation for Indiana University’s enduring strength and set IU on the course for greatness in its third century. 

The Bicentennial Strategic Plan for Indiana University, approved by the Board of Trustees in 2014, identified a number of goals that will help achieve this aim. Among a number of other priorities, The Bicentennial Strategic Plan recognizes Indiana University’s role as a national leader in research and calls on the university to maximize its capacity for research, scholarship, and creative activity.

The benefits to the people of Indiana from having a great public research university in the state are profound. University research and creative activities are associated with increased growth and incomes in their surrounding regions through students who have received their education in a research-rich environment; through new enterprises and new ideas brought into existing businesses; and through the pervasive culture of innovation they help to foster.  

And, of course, medical research has repeatedly shown that many diseases can be prevented, eliminated, or detected and managed more effectively through a wide variety of new procedures and therapies. In the 21st century, research remains central in our efforts to find new cures and treatments for so many of the illnesses and diseases that plague our society. 

IU’s commitment to catalyzing research is also reflected in the priorities of our current university-wide fundraising campaign, the For All Bicentennial Campaign that has a goal of raising $2.5 billion by the bicentennial in 2020. One of the campaign’s central priorities is to raise funds that will help IU create a healthier state, nation, and world. This priority has been, of course, at the heart of the mission of the IU School of Nursing for more than a century. Another campaign priority is to raise funds that will allow IU to recruit and retain the best and most creative faculty who will lead the discoveries that transform how we live. Increasing the number of endowed chairs and professorships in the IU School of Nursing and elsewhere will allow us to do just that and is a major goal of the campaign.

The IU School of Nursing: More than a Century of Excellence in Research

In this environment in which research is of such critical importance to the standing of our university and to the lives of the people of Indiana and beyond, the research activities of the IU School of Nursing have an immense and far-reaching impact.

The school has been continuously federally funded for research and other programs for more than 30 years, and has ranked among the leading schools of nursing in the country in terms of the amount of funding it receives from the National Institutes of Health.

The school has the largest group of cancer researchers at any school of nursing in the nation, and they are internationally recognized for their expertise and scientific work.

The school is home to outstanding research centers that make great advancements in the study of chronic illness, palliative and end-of-life communication and care, and nursing education. And, as I have already mentioned, it is home to superb research programs in behavioral oncology and cancer control.

Honoring Distinguished Professor Victoria Champion

Excellence in any school, of course, is dependent on outstanding faculty.

And so, today, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to honor one of the many outstanding faculty members of the IU School of Nursing, Distinguished Professor Victoria Champion.

Professor Champion holds the Edward W. and Sarah Stam Cullipher Chair in the school, and serves as the associate director of population science research in the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, where she is responsible for scientific and administrative oversight of the center’s population science research programs and all community engagement programs.

Professor Champion's research in behavioral oncology, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than three decades, has helped to create a large body of knowledge from which interventions continue to be developed that facilitate the discovery of cancer at earlier and more curable stages.

Her research has focused on increasing cancer screening to decrease cancer morbidity and mortality and on cancer survivorship.

Her work during her distinguished career has helped to reach underserved minorities, has pushed the boundaries of technology to foster cost-effective breast cancer screening, has helped to increase communication between patients and healthcare providers, and has improved the quality of life for countless cancer survivors.

Her findings have been published in highly respected nursing and interdisciplinary professional journals, presented at a wide variety of international and national conferences and symposia, and translated into a number of other languages to support increased cancer screening.

Because Dr. Champion’s work has been instrumental in establishing the interdisciplinary training program in Research for Behavioral Oncology and Cancer Control in the IU School of Nursing and building it into a national leader, and because the IU School of Nursing has the largest team of cancer researchers in the nation at a school of nursing, it is my great pleasure to announce today the establishment of the Indiana University School of Nursing Champion Center for Cancer Control Research.

And I am also very pleased to add to Professor Champion’s accolades today with the highest honor an IU president can bestow.

Vickie, would you join me at the podium?

The President’s Medal for Excellence is a reproduction in fine silver of the symbolic jewel of office worn by Indiana University’s president at ceremonial occasions. Three precious stones within the jewel represent the university’s cultivation of reading, writing, and mathematics, as well as the arts, sciences, and humanities.  

This medal is given to recognize exceptional distinction in public service, service to Indiana University, achievement in a profession, or extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts, humanities, sciences, education, and industry.

Professor Champion, you have exceeded these criteria during the course of your outstanding career at Indiana University, and for that let me extend our deepest and most grateful thanks.  

And so, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Indiana University, in recognition of the extraordinary breadth of your scholarship, service, and leadership, and for your remarkable research career that is helping to increase early detection of cancers and to decrease the burden symptoms for cancer patients—and for all you have done to bring greater visibility to the importance of nursing science—I am privileged and honored to present you with the President’s Medal for Excellence. 

Congratulations.