IU celebrates the Office of International Services’ 75 years, looks forward to future

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie recently joined university and local community leaders as well as IU faculty, staff and students to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Office of International Services, which serves IU’s international students.

In his remarks at the celebration, McRobbie reflected on the history of global engagement.

"IU was founded in 1820 at a time when the Bloomington landscape was dominated by farmland and only a few log cabins," he said. "Within a few years, the growing university attracted IU’s earliest international students, who came from Canada and England in the mid 1800s."

Now, IU has nearly 8,000 international students who come from around 140 countries.

From the top: Patrick O'Meara, IU's first vice president of international affairs, prepares to cut into a cake at the Office of International Services' 75th anniversary celebration; IU President Michael A. McRobbie speaks at the event; a large crowd gathers in President's Hall in Franklin Hall to take part in the activities.   

International students sometimes overcome numerous obstacles to attend IU such as language barriers, navigating visa and immigration requirements and adapting to a new culture and a new educational system.

McRobbie credited the staff in the Office of International Services for their work to support students coming to the United States from around the globe and for increasing IU’s international student population.

"The office's international admissions team visits dozens of countries around the world each year to talk with prospective students and their families," he said. "And they analyze and respond to rapidly changing global trends to ensure that IU remains a national leader in international education."

From the top: Students pose for a selfie at the Office of International Services anniversary celebration; students gathered for a photo; faculty, staff and students were able to get pictures in a photo booth in President's Hall.  Photos by Eric Rudd, Indiana University

McRobbie also pointed out the benefits of having greater diversity on IU's campuses due to its increasing number of international students.

"We warmly welcome all our international students and value them for the diversity in thought and culture they bring to our campuses, and for the window they provide into their own countries and cultures," he said. "They enrich our campuses and the communities we serve. They expose students from the United States to new ideas, helping them to reflect on the increasingly diverse compositions of our communities. They bring the world to IU."

Although the 75th anniversary was an opportunity for reflection, McRobbie also looked forward to continued global engagement and celebrating the university’s bicentennial.

During IU's bicentennial year, the Office of International Services will move to a new International Center located in the center of the Bloomington campus. The facility, which is expected to be complete in Spring 2020, will be a hub for IU's global engagement mission with services including supporting overseas students coming to IU and domestic students who wish to study abroad. It will also enable new opportunities for interaction and collaboration between all IU students.

"On behalf of Indiana University, I offer our most sincere congratulations to Associate Vice President for International Services Chris Viers, and to the staff of IU's Office of International Services, past and present, who have done so much over the years to ensure that international students succeed and thrive at Indiana University," he said.

Read IU President McRobbie's remarks from the celebration