IU Northwest students have busy lives and I am always impressed by what they can accomplish through the ability and sheer determination that they bring to their studies. But the help and support that they receive from others, whether family, faculty, staff or philanthropic donors, can make a crucial difference. The annual Chancellor’s Medallion Celebration took place on the evening of 10 November 2016, where we were vividly reminded of the importance of all those whose contributions that make it possible for our students to be successful and finish their degrees.
In particular, privately-funded scholarships and the good campus friends who create them enable many of our students to meet their financial obligations, which, too often, can be a major hindrance to student persistence and academic achievement. As part of the IU Northwest commitment to IU’s bicentennial For All campaign, scholarships that support our students’ academic success are a high priority.
During the last 20 years, 19 Chancellor’s Medallions have been awarded to good friends of IU Northwest who have provided distinguished service to the University and the Northwest Indiana community. The 2016 Chancellor’s Medallion recipients are Dr. Keith Lorentzen, IU Northwest Associate Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, and Strack & Van Til.
Dr. Lorentzen retired from IU Northwest nearly 30 years ago, but his support has continued, thanks to a scholarship that he created, given annually to an outstanding chemistry student. Strack & Van Til has a corporate commitment to community engagement that has benefited IU Northwest directly. Thanks to the Strack Family endowed scholarship, more than 50 students have worked toward their IU degrees, many of them Strack & Van Til employees, or children of Strack employees. Strack & Van Til team members are active volunteer leaders at IU Northwest, including serving on the IU Northwest Board of Advisors and the IU Northwest School of Business and Economics Advisory Board.
Both of this year’s Chancellor’s Medallion recipients continue to make a difference at IU Northwest by investing in students and their academic success. And investment is what it is all about, for individual students and the Northwest Indiana community. Anyone who has been on campus recently, or simply passed by on Broadway, has seen that our campus, and Broadway, are being transformed by Indiana University’s investment in the $45M Arts & Sciences Building that is on schedule to open in 2017.
The imposing, three-story building will house IU Northwest fine and performing arts programs, as well as instructional and administration space for the College of Arts and Sciences. Nearly a third of the building will be occupied in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College science programs and admission and enrollment services. But, without question, the signature space in the building will be the 500-seat, state-of-the-art theatre space for our performing arts program (as well as a smaller black box theater) that will rival the former theatre in Tamarack Hall that audiences still remember.
The arts wing of the Arts & Sciences Building richly represents the continuing commitment of IU Northwest (and Indiana University) to first-rate academic preparation in the fine and performing arts, as well as serving as a premier artistic and cultural resource in Northwest Indiana and the City of Gary. For more than 50 years, the rich talent that exists at IU Northwest has entertained and inspired audiences through stage performances, art exhibits and dance recitals. With our new facilities, we can now can look ahead to the next half-century, a new era that strengthens and deepens our campus’s commitment to the arts and culture.
The Arts & Sciences Building is another way in which we demonstrate the IU Northwest commitment to truly being the Region’s University and the Medallion dinner ended with an invitation to our philanthropic partners to help the campus celebrate the arts and set the stage for the next generation of talent and achievement. We announced the Arts on Broadway initiative, through which friends of IU Northwest can support our aspiring artists, actors, designers and writers by enabling us to be sure that they and our faculty colleagues have the artistic and academic resources that will guarantee that our students will get the most from their campus learning experiences.
A very important component of our Arts on Broadway campaign comes from another Chancellor’s Medallion recipient. The NiSource Charitable Foundation, presented by NIPSCO, believes that art brings communities together and have agreed to match all charitable gifts to Arts on Broadway, which doubles the impact of your gifts.
So please contact the Office of Development at IU Northwest, if you would like to be a ground-floor supporter of the arts at IU Northwest (and throughout the Region) by contributing to the Arts on Broadway and help to bring our stunning new facilities fully to life for our talented students.
Sincerest thanks to all of IU Northwest’s friends and donors for helping to make IU’s For All bicentennial campaign a success, enjoy the holiday season and all the best for the New Year.