I want to welcome you to the beginning of another academic year. I hope you had an enjoyable and restful summer and are looking forward to what promises to be a productive and particularly exciting year at IU.
Today marks the start of classes at all of our campuses across the state, where record numbers of new and returning students — who make up one of the most academically accomplished and diverse student bodies ever in IU's history — will engage in the next chapter of their educational journeys.
Today also marks the start of a year in which we are enthusiastically counting down the days to what will be a momentous occasion in the history of our great institution: IU's 200th anniversary! The Bicentennial, which is now just 315 days away, will feature a myriad of exciting programs designed to celebrate and chronicle the remarkable history, great traditions and matchless heritage that have made IU what it is today. I encourage you to visit — and bookmark — the special IU Bicentennial website to explore all of the activities we have planned.
As the observance of this anniversary celebration gets ever closer, we can all take great pride in the collective progress we have made in meeting the top priorities of the university's Bicentennial Strategic Plan and keeping IU on the course of greatness as we prepare for our next 100 years.
Because of your efforts, dedication and tireless energy, IU — as the state's flagship public university and the major college destination for Indiana residents — is making an enormous positive difference in all of the communities we serve. You — our world-class faculty and staff — are the driving force behind our continuing ability to keep an IU education affordable and accessible to the most deserving Hoosier students; protect our students' health and safety; inspire and guide our students as they make important school and life decisions; produce more well-educated graduates in areas of critical importance to our state and nation; engage in path-breaking research, scholarship and creative activity; leverage our increasing statewide footprint, which includes IU's regional campuses and the nation’s largest medical school with nine regional medical education centers around the state; and find solutions to the workforce development and health care needs of the people of our great state and beyond.
You are also playing another role, one that has never been as important as it is today: preparing our students for citizenship, a lifetime of public service and active participation in a rich, productive and public-spirited civil society that binds all of us together, no matter our backgrounds or experience. In encouraging our students to seek civil discourse, open their minds to new ways of understanding and engage in an ever-critical search for truth, you are furthering IU’s longstanding values of tolerance, inclusion, civil discourse, free speech, caring and respect for others. These values will always be the bedrock of our institution.
I would like to particularly thank you for your enormously generous support of IU's For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign. I had the great pleasure of announcing at the most recent trustees meeting that the campaign had passed the $2.5 billion mark with nearly two years to go toward a goal of $3 billion. So far, over 15,000 faculty and staff have contributed a record-breaking and remarkable total of $161 million toward this campaign. Please accept my most grateful thanks for your wonderful generosity and confidence in the future of IU.
As I described in my regular President's Update last week, extraordinary progress is happening all across the university as we continue to work together to meet the ever-evolving needs of our students and our communities; preserve our beautiful and sustainable campus grounds; and ensure that IU continues to serve as the state’s research powerhouse and one of the best public research universities in the world as it embarks upon a third century of excellence.
Your collective talents, your dedication to our students and your continued engagement in the life of our state make me enormously proud to call you colleagues. As I have said on many occasions, IU is a world-class institution, but what makes it truly extraordinary is its people.
Thanks to each of you for all that you do on behalf of IU, and my very best wishes for a great and successful 2018-19 academic year.
With thanks as always,
Michael A. McRobbie