IUPUI 50th Anniversary Report to the Community

IUPUI Campus Center

Thursday, January 24, 2019

IU President Michael A. McRobbie speaks at the IUPUI 50th Anniversary Report to the Community event. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Thank you, Chancellor Paydar.

On behalf of the entire Indiana University community, it is my great pleasure to extend our most sincere congratulations to all of the faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the IUPUI campus on the historic milestone of the campus's 50th anniversary.

On this special occasion, I am very pleased to welcome members of the Boards of Trustees of both Indiana University and Purdue University. I will ask them to stand as I introduce them, and I ask that you hold your applause until all are introduced.

With us today representing Indiana University are MaryEllen Bishop, of Carmel, who serves as chair of the IUPUI Board of Advisors, Harry Gonso, of Indianapolis, Jim Morris, of Indianapolis, and Donna Spears, of Richmond.

With us this morning representing Purdue University are Chair of the Purdue Board of Trustees, Michael Berghoff, of Indianapolis—who will be speaking in just a moment, and Former Purdue trustee, Bill Moreau, of Indianapolis.

Please join me in welcoming the IU and Purdue Trustees.

Fifty years of progress and growth at IUPUI

This opportunity to celebrate 50 years of progress and growth at IUPUI comes just four days after Indiana University celebrated its 199th anniversary. Today's celebration is also a fitting prelude to the beginning of IU's Bicentennial Year on July 1, now a mere 158 days away.

Fifty years ago, IU and Purdue merged their various schools and educational programs in Indianapolis to establish IUPUI, which, 50 years later, is now firmly established nationally as a thriving urban research campus.

The presence this morning of all living past and present mayors of Indianapolis—and the presence of so many other distinguished guests who have joined us—is testimony to the major contributions the IUPUI campus makes to issues concerning the city of Indianapolis and our state. It also speaks to the campus's unwavering commitment to community, service-learning, and civic engagement, which is one of the most powerful and visible ways IUPUI is helping to transform the community it serves.

The IUPUI campus is also home to an extensive research enterprise, including the largest medical school in the nation, and the schools of nursing and dentistry—all among the oldest in the country. Across the campus, outstanding faculty members are engaged in a wide range of research and scholarship that results in the generation of innovative new ideas, new scholarly works, and discoveries that cure disease, protect our environment, help secure our nation, grow the economy, and advance art and culture in our communities. Research faculty at IUPUI are also playing vital roles in the IU Grand Challenges program—the most ambitious research program in IU's history—particularly in the Precision Health Initiative and in Responding to the Addictions Crisis.

The campus' longstanding strengths in the academic health sciences have enabled IU to play an essential role in the provision of health-related services to the people of Indiana and the nation, in educating the overwhelming majority of health sciences professionals in Indiana, and in helping to meet the serious public health challenges facing the state and the nation through the establishment of the Fairbanks School of Public Health.

We see additional evidence of the growth and the impact of the campus in new facilities recently added to the campus, like the Science and Engineering Laboratory Building, University Hall, which is home to the world’s first school of philanthropy, this splendid Campus Center, and the newly renovated IU Natatorium, still one of the most iconic amateur athletic venues in the nation. We also see such evidence in new residence halls that contribute immeasurably to student success, including North Hall and University Tower.

The IUPUI campus is also deeply committed to preparing students to succeed as global citizens in a rapidly changing world. Toward that end, the campus recruits and supports students from more than 140 countries around the globe, encourages study and service abroad, hosts international scholars, and establishes vital academic partnerships with leading universities around the world.

And I take special pride in saying that IUPUI is a home to a highly diverse student population, and we are committed to seeing those numbers continue to increase.


In its first half century, IUPUI has accomplished much more than its founders could have ever imagined.

And under the strong leadership of Chancellor Nasser Paydar, and the previous leadership of Chancellors Gerry Bepko and Charles Bantz, its story continues to unfold as it adapts to an ever-changing educational landscape, works to ensure the best of outcomes for its students, and pursues ideas and innovations that lead to a better quality of life for the people of Indiana and beyond.

All of us greatly look forward to the next 50 years of progress and growth.