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.


First modern foreign language offered

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


First foreign faculty member

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


First foreign student

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


First study abroad program

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


First foreign student to earn a graduate degree from IU

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


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.


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.


First international study grant

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


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.


First IU scholarships for international students

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


First summer language workshop

in less commonly taught languages.


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.


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).


First Title VI Program

in Russian and East European Studies


First international deanship appointment

Gus Liebenow named associate dean for international programs.


First IUPUI study abroad trip

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


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.


 First IU South Bend international affairs office established


IUPUI Office of International Affairs established


First undergraduate minor in international studies

through the College of Arts and Sciences.


First overseas international alumni reunion

in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


First international homecoming

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


First international studies degree

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


First international vice president

Patrick O'Meara appointed by President Michael McRobbie.


First year of the School of Global and International Studies

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


First IU Gateway

opened outside New Delhi, India.