Greetings from the Alumni
Good morning and thank you so much for inviting me to join in today’s celebration of 200 years of Indiana University. I am honored to be here with you all to represent all of Indiana University alumni who have strengthened their knowledge, their skills, their careers, as part of this amazing community. I’d especially like to thank President McRobbie for his contributions to our university over the course of the last twelve years. As you’ve heard, there has been a doubling of the number of students of color. He has responded to the need for a more affordable higher education. With his leadership, we have invested more in Indiana University and its thousands upon thousands of students with campuses all across the state. President McRobbie, you have taken IU to new heights as we celebrate 200 years of Hoosiers, I know that your efforts have built a strong foundation for the next 200 years of IU and beyond.
So let’s talk about what will those next 200 years look like? In large part, the future of this institution depends on the people here now and those who are watching as it’s been streamed. The next 200 years of IU are our responsibility. We are the stewards of this great university and of the legacy left by the Hoosiers who came before us. It is our job to keep IU strong and help it grow and to serve more people. It is our job to make sure that IU continues to be a force for good in Indiana and around the world. As you’ve already heard from Mayor Hamilton, a well-known American Hoosier, Kurt Vonnegut, (I’m going to repeat it. It was in my remarks as well. I thought it might be in someone else’s remarks and sure enough it was.) “I don’t know what it is about Hoosiers but wherever you go there is always a Hoosier doing something very important there.” And as I travel the state and actually the world on behalf of the United States House of Representatives representing the 5th district of Indiana, I can say with absolute certainty that Vonnegut was right. I have met IU alum in so many places: whether it was at a Peace Corps School in a small village in Tanzania, whether it was a member of the German Bundestag recently I met over in Berlin, whether it was an airman at a US airbase in Aviano, Italy, or whether it’s right here at home in Indiana, the doctors, the nurses, all of those who show me and visit with me at our local hospitals, whether it’s meetings with entrepreneurs and business leaders or educators throughout our state, Hoosiers are everywhere doing incredible things. So many, in fact, that I had a very hard time thinking about my seven years in Congress and all the Hoosiers I’ve met along my path. There are just so many everywhere. IU alum are talented, engaged, smart, active, and most importantly they recognize the importance of preparing the next generation to succeed. This pay it forward mentality means that for current students and for alumni, once a Hoosier, always a Hoosier. For me, those skills that I learned and the network I built at the IU McKinney School of Law led me to Congress. And that is why today and one of the most amazing honors that we get to do as members of Congress, I am very proud to present Indiana University with a copy of the Congressional Record entry that I submitted yesterday to the House of Representatives. This record will ensure that our Bicentennial celebration is a part of our country’s historical record forever. President McRobbie…(hands President McRobbie the record). So rather than recounting all 200 years’ worth which we tried to do in two pages in this Congressional record, you can find it online. Give us a little bit of time. I just dropped it yesterday.
On behalf of IU alum everywhere, congratulations on this historic 200 years. Hail to Old IU!