IU president presides over IU Police Academy Graduation, awards first scholarship

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presided over the graduation of the IU Police Academy’s 45th class of new officers on Saturday. He also awarded the academy’s first scholarship, the Randy Williamson Scholarship for Excellence, a gift from the president and his wife, Laurie, named in honor of McRobbie’s driver and security officer who served for a decade before retiring last year. The inaugural recipient of the scholarship, was Cadet Officer Mitchell Burelison, who received high marks in academics, physical fitness and firearms proficiency.

From the top: The Indiana University Police Academy ceremony was held in Alumni Hall in the Indiana Memorial Union. Police officers look on as the cadets prepare to take the oath and join their ranks. IU police academy graduates take the oath of sworn officers. 

Among the Class of 2018 were eight women and 34 men, 40 undergraduates and two graduate students, 13 21st century scholars and 11 who were first generation college students. Dressed in blue uniforms and recognized in a formal ceremony before their family, friends and fellow law enforcement officials, they took an oath to became sworn police officers.

"Today, graduates, you join a distinctive tradition of service at Indiana University, one marked by personal integrity and courage," McRobbie told the cadets. "Members of the Class of 2018, you have already demonstrated the courage it takes to persevere through the rigorous training of the Indiana University Police Academy. A weighty but rewarding responsibility is now before you."

From the top: IU President McRobbie congratulates a graduate from the IU Police Academy. Randy Williamson, former driver and security officer for McRobbie stands with the inaugural recipient of the Randy Williamson Scholarship of Excellence, Cadet Officer Mitchell Burelison, McRobbie, and First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie. A family poses for a photo with a graduate after the ceremony.  Photos by Chaz Mottinger, Indiana University

IU’s police department was reorganized into one single department in 2009 that serves all of IU’s campuses across the state. The cadets taking the oath on Saturday came from a variety of backgrounds, studied in 14 different major areas and spoke 10 languages. They had all completed a rigorous 12-week summer training course in order to earn a police officer’s badge.

"For all university presidents, the safety of the members of our university communities is a paramount concern," McRobbie said. "I take great comfort in knowing that Indiana University has a corps of well-trained police officers who are professional, intelligent, collaborative, reliable, hard-working, and, above all, thoroughly dedicated to protecting and serving all of the members of the IU community."  

Read President McRobbie's speech from the event