Surprise Farewell Reception for William J. Lowe, Chancellor of IU Northwest


Monday, August 03, 2020

Welcome and introduction

I am delighted to join all of you virtually to express Indiana University’s most grateful thanks to Bill Lowe for his decade of distinguished service to the IU Northwest campus and to the university.

Among those gathered in person and virtually this afternoon are a number of current and former senior leaders of Indiana University.

I want to extend a special welcome to a number of members of the IU Board of Trustees who are with us today. With us are:

  • Mike Mirro, chair of the Board of Trustees,
  • Pat Shoulders, vice chair of the board,
  • Trustee MaryEllen Bishop, and
  • Molly Connor, our student trustee.

I am delighted that these trustees could join us today.

Strong and effective leadership for IU Northwest

The commitment of IU Northwest and the other regional campuses of Indiana University to enhancing student success, to fostering a community of outstanding scholars, and to building a prosperous and innovative Indiana, are at the very heart of the regional campuses’ missions.

Of course, if IU’s regional campuses are to continue to thrive, it is imperative that they have strong and effective leaders.

For the last decade, Bill Lowe has been just such a leader for IU Northwest.

During his 10 years as chancellor of IU Northwest, he has demonstrated vision, resourcefulness, personal integrity, and an absolute commitment

  • to students,
  • to diversity and inclusion,
  • to community partnerships, and
  • to strengthening the academic enterprise.

Bill brought a breadth of experience to the role of chancellor. He came to IU Northwest after having served as a faculty member and administrator at a number of universities—most recently, Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, where he served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs—and for a brief period as Interim President.

He is a scholar of Irish history, focusing particularly on the Irish Constabulary. He deepened his expertise in this area as a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Modern History at Trinity College in Dublin where he had received his doctorate some years earlier. 

At IU Northwest, Bill oversaw three comprehensive planning exercises, culminating in the adoption of the IU Northwest Strategic Priorities and Objectives, 2015-2020, which are aligned with the IU Bicentennial Strategic Plan. He was also, as you will hear from Executive Vice President John Applegate in a moment, integral to the success of the Blueprint for Student Attainment on IU’s regional campuses.

Bill came to IU Northwest two years after the devasting flood that damaged the campus’s oldest building, Tamarack Hall, so extensively that it ultimately had to be demolished. His vision and leadership were integral in the planning and construction of the much-needed and much-anticipated Arts and Sciences Building, which was dedicated in 2017, and which shares space with Ivy Tech Community College.

His time as chancellor also saw increased financial support for research and creative activity by a highly productive faculty of teacher-scholars at IU Northwest, and the establishment of the rank of Chancellor’s Professor.

The campus also saw a redoubled campus commitment to community-based engagement, resulting in more than 2,000 students contributing more than 154,000 service hours annually.

And Bill has overseen the IU Northwest portion of the Bicentennial Campaign—which has been enormously successful. IU Northwest has already surpassed its $8 million goal, having raised more than $10.2 million (more than 128% of the original campus goal). This includes funds to establish 46 new student scholarships that will allow students who could not otherwise afford to attend college to come to IU and earn an education that will change their lives. And nearly $3 million of the funds raised to date—approximately 29% of the total—have come from IU Northwest faculty and staff.

Bill, under your steady and visionary leadership, IU Northwest has made enormous progress over the last decade.

All of us at Indiana University are enormously grateful to you for your outstanding service to the campus and to IU—and we wish you and Pamela, the very best.

I now invite Chancellor Iwama to return to the podium.

Medal presentations

The Indiana University Bicentennial Medal has been awarded throughout IU’s Bicentennial Year to organizations and individuals who, through their

  • personal,
  • professional,
  • artistic, or
  • philanthropic efforts,

have broadened the reach of Indiana University

around the

  • state,
  • nation, and
  • world

Made of materials salvaged from bells that once rang out from the tower of the Student Building on the IU Bloomington campus, each Bicentennial Medal is a lasting piece of the history of Indiana University, which celebrated its 200th anniversary on January 20th of this year.

Bill received the Bicentennial Medal last year.

It is only fitting this afternoon that we also present a Bicentennial Medal to Pam Lowe, who, in her role as First Lady of IU Northwest, has done so much to broaden the reach of Indiana University and the IU Northwest campus…and, as John Applegate pointed out, she is also an IU Northwest alumna!

Bill will assist with the presentation of the medal.

And so, Pamela Lowe, I am pleased and privileged to present to you the Bicentennial Medal.

Bill, can you please do the honors?

And Pam, our newest Bicentennial Medal recipient, will assist with our next medal presentation.

The President’s Medal for Excellence symbolizes the aspirations and ideals that are the foundation of the search for knowledge.  It is patterned after, and reflects the values embedded in, the President's Jewel of Office, which is worn by IU’s President on the university’s most formal occasions.

Bill, during your years of service at Indiana University Northwest, you have been a consistent champion of growth for the campus, which has enriched its traditional course offerings with an ever-expanding variety of distance-learning options, an advance that has been especially advantageous in these extraordinary times.

And so, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Indiana University, and in recognition of your sustained excellence in

  • administrative leadership, 
  • service to the university, and
  • scholarship in the humanities,

I am pleased and privileged to bestow upon you the President’s Medal for Excellence.