A historic Day of Commemoration and an extraordinary start to IU’s third century

Dear Friend of IU:

Jan. 20 was a truly historic day for Indiana University. On it we celebrated the very day 200 years ago when then-Indiana Gov. Jonathan Jennings signed into law the bill that created IU. Over the subsequent two centuries, IU has grown to become one of the world’s leading research universities and has fueled an engine of opportunity and prosperity for Indiana and the nation, sparked discoveries that have helped solve some of our state’s and our world’s most pressing problems, led the state’s international engagement and illuminated the boundless possibilities of human imagination and creativity.

On that day of celebration we were delighted to welcome to Bloomington many of the alumni, friends and current and former administrators, faculty and staff of IU—from IU campuses and elsewhere across the state and beyond—who have, in the university’s recent years, supported and sustained our core education, research and community engagement missions through their teaching and research, dedicated service and generous philanthropic support.

That Monday was also Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when all of Dr. King’s remarkable achievements are commemorated and his legacy remembered. In his essay on "The Purpose of Education," Dr. King wrote, "Education must train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. …(It) must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction."

For 200 years, IU, one of the nation’s oldest public universities, has been dedicated to the pursuit of these very aims. They are fundamental to all that we do. Countless generations of students on IU’s campuses around our state have earned an education that has allowed them to develop the skills of argument and reasoning, of analysis and discernment, and of leadership and cooperation. In earning this kind of education, they have been part of a university community dedicated to the principle that our diversity makes us stronger and united by tolerance, respect and common bonds.

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