Milestones in global and international affairs

IU has a long history of global engagement, stretching back to shortly after its founding. See many of our important firsts.

1836

First modern foreign language offered

French was taught for the first time in 1836, German in 1854, and Spanish in 1864.

1836

First foreign faculty member

William Richard Harding came from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, to become principal of the preparatory department.

1842

First foreign student

Henry Tanner, born and educated in London before entering IU. AB, AM, LLB.

1879

First study abroad program

Daniel Starr Jordan led a "Summer Tramps" walking tour of Europe.

1891

First foreign student to earn a graduate degree from IU

Takekuma Okada return to Japan with a master of arts degree.

1916

First Bloomington campus-wide international club

The Cosmopolitan Club began with 12 international students as the U.S. was pondering entrance into a world war. It sponsored popular campus wide social events through 1970.

1924

First paid international student advisor

The Board of Trustees approved payment of $100 a year to Flora Anderson, botany professor, partly to manage a new international student loan fund.

1940

First international study grant

The Indiana Federation of Clubs joined with IU to support graduate student research in Latin America.

1943

First permanent international student advisor position

Herman Wells appointed Leo R. Dowling to this role, which became his primary function in 1946. Dowling retired in 1976.

1945

First IU scholarships for international students

Approved by the Board of Trustees for "foreign students why are dependent entirely upon private means."

1950

First summer language workshop

in less commonly taught languages.

1951

First international center

Herman Wells dedicated a small house on Jordan Avenue (on the site of the Read Hall parking lot) for the social use of international students.

1954

First formal development agreement

IU’s School of Education, the Prasan Mitr College of Education in Bangkok, and the Thai Ministry of Education, with funding provided by the U.S. Foreign Operations Administration (FOA).

1958

First Title VI Program

in Russian and East European Studies

1970

First international deanship appointment

Gus Liebenow named associate dean for international programs.

1973

First IUPUI study abroad trip

The French department launched a study abroad program to Dijon, France

1975

First year of Office of International Programs

George M. Wilson, associate professor of history, appointed Dean for International Programs, heading the new Office of International Programs which brought together international faculty and student services.

1986

 First IU South Bend international affairs office established

1989

IUPUI Office of International Affairs established

1998

First undergraduate minor in international studies

through the College of Arts and Sciences.

1999

First overseas international alumni reunion

in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

2002

First international homecoming

brought 50 alumni from 17 countries to Bloomington for a four-day celebration.

2003

First international studies degree

became available to students in the new Program in International Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, Bloomington.

2007

First international vice president

Patrick O'Meara appointed by President Michael McRobbie.

2012

First year of the School of Global and International Studies

now called the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

2013

First IU Gateway

opened outside New Delhi, India.