Karen Freeman-Wilson Remarks

The Honorable Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor, City of Gary

Greetings from the Cities

Good Morning. It is my distinct privilege to President McRobbie and this distinguished day of guests as well as to all of you who come today in a celebratory manner. I am humbled to bring you greetings on behalf of the city and citizens of Gary, Indiana. I also consider it an honor and privilege to join you as you celebrate 200 years and add my voice to those who have offered congratulations on this occasion.

When I think about what Indiana University means to not just the state of Indiana but to those cities like Gary who count it as an anchor institution, I’m immediately drawn to the fact that in Gary, Indiana University serves as a center for arts and culture. And while it hasn’t done that for 200 years, it has certainly been at the center of not just educational attainment but continuing education for a long time and what many know to be an industrial community. But more important than the arts and culture and more important than the education that it has provided, it has been at the center of economic development as an anchor institution in our community.

When I think about the Broadway corridor where Indiana University Northwest sits, it would look a very different way but for IU. When I think about the work that people like Chancellor Lowe and Ellen Szarleta do outside of the university, we would have much less achievement but for the faculty and staff and members of the Indiana University Northwest community. And when I think about the famous graduates of Indiana University Northwest, people like Congressman Peter Visclosky and Justice Robert Rucker, we would be less noteworthy but for those graduates. But when I think of the way that the Indiana University community has embraced one of our favorite native sons, George Taliaferro, then I know that Indiana University has a special place in the heart of Gary, and so we are simply here to say thank you.

Thank you for what you have done over the course of time for the state of Indiana and particularly for the city of Gary and all of the other communities like Kokomo and New Albany and so many other communities that you serve. And thank you for keeping your hands in the community, not just in the past but what I know you will do and how you will do it in the future. God bless you and God bless IU.