IU president, first lady join in the Hoosier spirit for homecoming weekend

The cool temperatures and falling rain on Indiana University's homecoming weekend did not dampen the Hoosier spirit where the Bloomington campus welcomed students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to join in on traditions IU has engaged in for nearly two centuries.

Over the festive weekend, IU President Michael McRobbie and First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie honored alumni for their service, participated in the annual parade, cheered on the football team, and dedicated new facilities for IU's Marching Hundred.

From the top: IU Distinguished Alumni Service Award reciepents Curtis Ferguson, Rose Mays, Daniel Evans Jr., Pusadee Piyakul Tamthai and Todd Spaletto gather at the award ceremony; members of the IU community attend the event held at the Indiana Memorial Union; IU's Marching Hundred perform at a ceremony to dedicate Marching Hundred Hall. Photos by Ann Schertz and Eric Rudd, Indiana University

Among the hundreds of IU alumni who returned to campus for the homecoming festivities were IU Daniel Evans Jr. of Indianapolis; Curtis Ferguson of Hilton Head, South Carolina; Rose M. Mays of Indianapolis; Todd Spaletto of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Pusadee Piyakul Tamthai of Bangkok, Thailand.

For their service throughout the United States and around the world, the five alumni were honored with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the university's highest award given only to an alumna or alumnus. President McRobbie presented the awards alongside Robert N. Johnson, national chair of the IU Alumni Association.

"In honoring them, we also honor all alumni who contribute immeasurably to their professions, to their communities, and to Indiana University," McRobbie said during the award ceremony. "In bestowing these awards, we recognize the foundations of excellence upon which Indiana University has been built – foundations that are reflected in the lives of the university’s sons and daughters. We are grateful to these award recipients for helping to strengthen these foundations."

From the top: IU President Michael A. McRobbie speaks before a large crowd gathered at Ray E. Cramer Marching Hundred Hall, the McRobbies wave at people along the homecoming parade route, student athletes march during the parade.  Photos by Eric Rudd, Indiana University

To kick off the homecoming parade, the McRobbies joined university leaders to dedicate Ray E. Cramer Marching Hundred Hall, a permanent practice facility for the Marching Hundred, IU's band made up of nearly 300 musicians.

The new building includes a large rehearsal hall and two smaller rehearsal rooms and houses instrument and uniform storage as well as repair space.

"This wonderful new facility gives the talented members of IU’s legendary Marching Hundred the learning and practice space they need to reach even greater heights and to continue to accomplish these aims well into the university’s third century," McRobbie said at the dedication ceremony.

The new facility was named in honor of Ray E. Cramer, who directed the band from 1972 to 1982 and was the director of bands at the IU Jacobs School of Music.

Just after the dedication event, the sounds of IU’s Marching Hundred band boomed across campus as its members marched in the annual homecoming parade. The McRobbies joined cheerleaders, campus leaders, members of student organizations and the public for the parade that traveled down Woodlawn avenue all the way to the Indiana Memorial Union.

Read the Marching Hundred Hall dedication speech