Chancellor’s Remarks at Historical Marker Ceremony
September 16, 2019
- Thank everyone for attending
- Acknowledge VIPs
- Jim Capshew – University Historian & Professor, History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
- Mike Karickhoff – Indiana State Representative from District 30
- Skip Higgins – Son of former IUK Director Dr. Smith Higgins
- Melinda Stanley – President of the Indiana University Alumni Association Kokomo Region
- Jack Tharp – Former IUK Vice Chancellor and Member of the Bicentennial Historical Marker Committee
Dedication of the Seiberling Bicentennial Marker
Today we celebrate one of the special places where IU Kokomo’s distinguished legacy of excellence first began.
Winston Churchill once said, “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
Today we are looking back 75 years as IU Kokomo celebrate our silver anniversary and the Bicentennial of Indiana University. The faculty, staff, and alumni from the past have provided us with a very solid foundation for looking forward for another 75 years.
IU Kokomo has been and continues to be the hub for higher education in North Central Indiana. We truly are a “Steward of Place,” holding our 12-county region in trust - we have prepared and then graduated over 15,000 alumni – many of whom are with us today.
These graduates are the nurses, teachers, doctors, dentists, and bankers, etc. who provide the needed educated human resources for a vibrant, growing region.
We have a very proud history – beginning in 1945 at the Seiberling Mansion with Director Virgil Hunt at the helm.
According to Virgil – partnerships were the key to our success back then and they still are today. He stated in an interview in 1994, “… C. V. Haworth and C.E. Henshaw from the Kokomo Schools, the Rotary Club and Grace Methodist Church, and the school people of Indiana, all the county superintendents around, all were rootin' for me and IUK. You had it made. It was just a question of how big and how fast you could make it. I see nothing but greatness for IUK. It has the start that it needs.”
Then we moved to the Washington Street campus in 1965 with the opening of the main building with Victor Bogle at the helm. He was, quoted in a news release, September 3, 1970:
“A state-supported university cannot sit in an ivory tower and ignore responsible and constructive demands for change. It must continually update its programs and innovate, or it will produce graduates unable to cope with problems and pressures found outside its classrooms. As we mark our 25th year in Kokomo, IU reaffirms its faith in the regional campus as a relevant institution for the 1970s. When we stop listening to our students and our community, we will cease to exist.”
That was our 25th anniversary and today we are launching the celebration of our 75th anniversary. We know we have continued to listen. A few years ago, we underwent a 14-million-dollar renovation of the main building, thanks to Representative Karickhoff and others in the state legislature who provided state support. We were able to create 21st century classrooms to continue to be the relevant institution Bogle spoke of.
In 1980 we opened our second building on the Washington street campus – the east building. In this building we have two state of the art nursing simulation centers that provide the newest technology for learning for our nursing students.
Today IU Kokomo is the home to 8 buildings with two more on the horizon – a greenhouse and a student events and activities center. We also have two student housing projects that surround the campus
In the 1990s we saw the addition of a new library building – last year we saw a million-dollar renovation of that library so it could accommodate the need for a learning commons as more library resources moved to an online modality.
In 2001 we opened Hunt Hall as we were in desperate need for relevant science facilities. IU Kokomo began with programs in nursing, education, the liberal arts, and business – today we have responded to our regional needs with programs in computer science, a nurse practitioner program, and health sciences, hospitality and tourism, sports management, and so much more.
Our student demographics has also changed from an adult returning student to a traditional 18-year old. In response we have added 12 sports and numerous student clubs and organizations.
So, as you can see so much has changed in the past 75 years because the campus took its mission seriously - not to sit in an ivory tower – but to provide a relevant Indiana University path to prosperity and a quality of life for so many.
Today we are indebted to every chancellor, administrator, faculty and staff member and alumni who have invested their careers to make this the institution that it is today.
I have been honored to serve this institution in a variety of roles since 1977 and I am proud to be a part of this esteemed group of professionals.
However, there is something that has not changed in all of these years and that is the remarkable students that we serve. Their stories are all unique and powerful – they are the leaders and the future of this region. They have always been the reason why we are here whether we were at the Seiberling mansion or the Washington Street campus.
As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Our world is in need of change and our students, our alumni, are all a part of that change.
Finally, let’s turn once again to Winston Churchill who states, “It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” The faculty and staff at IU Kokomo have a responsibility to continue our work for another 75 years – challenging our students to look further than they can see.
- Briefly introduce Dr. Sarah Heath, Associate Professor of History, who will speak about the historical significance of IUK’s time at the Seiberling.
- Dave Broman will invite you back up to unveil the marker
- I (Kevin) will hand you the string/tassel you will pull (yank hard to get the whole thing off the marker to unveil it), while saying something like, “It is with great pride in IUK’s past, and great hope for IUK’s future, that I unveil this marker of Indiana University Kokomo’s early years here at the Seiberling Mansion.”
- Applause (I will start it myself to ensure it happens) and photo by Austin
- Return to mic for following requests:
- Ask those who did not fill in the guest registry upon their arrival to fill it out before leaving – it will be placed near the reception line so guests may fill it out while standing in line
- Ask that all those present who were students, faculty, or staff during IUK’s time at the Seiberling gather by the marker for a group photo with you immediately following the ceremony
- Encourage guests to enjoy the refreshments, including Herman B Wells’ favorite cake – a festive celebration of IU colors that includes bananas and strawberries
- Thank everyone again for coming and wish them a great afternoon