The future is bright thanks to creative, innovative, internationally-focused IU students

As the 2017-18 spring semester at IU draws to a close, a look back at how President and First Lady McRobbie have often experienced IU’s student success and engagement first-hand.

On the first day of classes this fall, Indiana University joined in a planetary celebration when the moon passed in front of the sun to create a total solar eclipse. The celestial occasion marked an exciting start to an academic year that has shown once again that IU students are among the most creative, innovative and globally engaged.

Along with hundreds of students across IU's campuses, IU President Michael A. McRobbie and First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie looked up through solar viewers as the moon blocked out the sun's light. On the IU Bloomington campus, students, faculty, staff and the local community stood in the sun's shadow on the limestone steps of the recently dedicated Conrad Prebys Amphitheater.

From the left: President and First Lady McRobbie view the 2018 solar eclipse with students. President McRobbie congratulates IU students on their performances during the Conrad Prebys Amphitheater dedication celebration. The McRobbies talk with students studying abroad in France through the Aix-en-Provence program.

The new outdoor amphitheater for musical and theatrical performances was dedicated only two months before with excellent performances from the Jacobs School of Music's Summer Brass Ensemble, a student jazz quartet and three third-year Master of Fine Arts theater students and one alumna who acted out scenes from several Greek tragedies.

The Prebys Amphitheater is a new venue for students to showcase their artistic talents and continues IU's long history of creating opportunities for students to have memorable and life-changing experiences while studying at IU. Just before the amphitheater was dedicated, McRobbie met with students in France involved in the Aix-en-Provence study abroad program, a 55-year-old program that immerses students in French language and culture. As they talked, the students described how learning overseas was a transformative experience.

From the top: The McRobbies and actors Glenn Close and Whoopi Goldberg with students during a U Bring Change to Mind event. IU students Marc Prats and Victor Sanchez with President McRobbie and Peter Tattersfield, Mexico chapter president for the IU Alumni Association, during the Patrick O'Meara International Lecture series. Lucy Brown, IU student and international studies major, welcomes McRobbie to the stage for his remarks in the Indiana in the World Panel held as part of the School of Global and International Studies' America's Role in the World conference.

International exchanges are increasingly available for students interested in studying abroad, but also at home on IU's campuses. In March, Roberto Salinas-León, president of the Mexico Business Forum, spoke for the seventh annual Patrick O'Meara International Lecture, which brings distinguished guests to IU Bloomington to address critical topics in international affairs each year. During Salinas-Leon's visit, he met with McRobbie along with students and faculty.

Just days later, IU tackled some of the greatest challenges facing America and the international community at the America's Role in the World conference. IU students were exposed to discussions featuring leading policymakers, scholars, activists, researchers and journalists on critical issues including the current state of democracy, food security, foreign policy, and the role of Indiana and universities in international engagement.

Such events that bring crucial issues facing the state, nation and world directly to IU students prepares them to be future leaders and ambassadors. In many ways, students work to make a difference even before they graduate from IU.

The U Bring Change 2 Mind Toolbox Project that recently brought esteemed actors Glenn Close and Whoopi Goldberg to IU for a talk about reducing the stigma associated with mental illness is a fitting example of the way IU encourages students to solve complex problems through involvement and leadership in campus organizations.

From the top: IU President McRobbie and IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar meet with student leaders at IUPUI. McRobbie with IU Student Association leaders during a luncheon at IU Bloomington. McRobbie hugs senior Tyra Buss after the women's basketball team defeated Purdue during the WNIT tournament.

McRobbie recently joined IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar to talk with IUPUI student leaders about how to strengthen the student experience on the Indianapolis campus. At a lunch with IU Student Association leaders this year, McRobbie also heard about the exciting student initiatives and critical issues that impact students. Along with thousands of Hoosier fans, the McRobbies also witnessed firsthand, the competitive spirit of the IU women's basketball team make history when they won the WNIT championship title for the first time.

As the 2017-18 spring semester draws to a close, these events and activities on the campuses of IU are a reminder that the future is bright thanks to IU's creative, innovative, internationally-focused students who step up to face challenges with the compassion, courage, and spirit that has long been associated with those who attend IU.