The past year has been one of growth and innovation at our school, which the Indiana University Board of Trustees recently named in honor of two giants of American foreign policy—Rep. Lee H. Hamilton and Sen. Richard G. Lugar. The October announcement accompanied a campaign kickoff to raise $25 million for student scholarships and faculty endowments that build upon the Hamilton and Lugar legacies of nonpartisan global engagement.
The naming of the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies was a tonic for our times, underlining the school’s principled commitment to pragmatic US global engagement.
At HLS, the response to the global churn and democratic challenge of 2018 was a surge of student enrollments, as well as national recognition of our signature approach to a program of global knowledge. We admitted our largest class of undergraduate students and are now the largest school of global and international studies in the Midwest—and one of the largest in the country.
On the first day of classes this fall, we received word that a record number of programs housed within HLS were awarded $18.8 million in grants by the US Department of Education’s prestigious Title VI program. The awards designated eleven centers and programs as National Resource Centers or National Language Resource Centers to “develop and maintain capacity and performance in area/international studies and world languages.” The result is not only the most of any university in the country but also the best in the 60-year history of Title VI at IU.
Also in August, the University was awarded a Department of Defense-funded Language Flagship in Russian. The program joins the Hamilton Lugar School’s three Language Flagships in Arabic, Mandarin, and Turkish, making IU the only institution in the United States with four such programs and reinforcing our reputation as an exceptional school for language study.
We wrapped up the fall with a major gift from IU alumni Jefferson and Mary Shreve that established a program to support scholarships and MA fellowships for outstanding students and also named the Hamilton Lugar School’s state-of-the-art auditorium in the Shreve family name.
Of course, not all of our highlights took place in the latter half of the year. The spring brought a generous gift to endow a professorship in Chinese Trade and Economics. (Look for a formal announcement on the Ming Mei Professorship early in the new year.) A few weeks later, the school received an award from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership to establish the 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative.
We also hosted our third annual conference on America’s Role in the World, which is co-convened each year by Rep. Hamilton and Sen. Lugar. The conference featured former US Permanent Representative to the UN, Samantha Power; member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Todd Young; and Washington Post journalist, Dan Balz, among others. Save the date for the 2019 conference, which takes place March 21-22 at the Hamilton Lugar School in Bloomington, Indiana. For updates, visit the conference website.
On a personal note, I traveled to Burma and Bangladesh this summer in my capacity as chair of the Committee on Conscience at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Committee supports the work of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, endowed by IU alumna Cindy Simon-Skjodt. I invite you to read an account of my visit with Rohingya refugees, activists, and government officials as published in the Washington Post.
I hope you’ll take a moment to check out more highlights of the work of our outstanding scholars and students from the past year.
- HLS senior Eashan Kumar named 2018 Commencement Speaker. Link
- HLS hosted a conference on emerging global tactics to capture control of media in partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy. Link
- The Language Workshop marked 68 years of intensive study. Link
- HLS hosted the national leadership meeting for Project GO, a vital initiative that ensures national security and defense readiness through language and culture training. Link
- The Tobias Center for Innovation and International Development convened practitioners and scholars on the 16th anniversary of US combat in Afghanistan. Link
- The Symposium on International Education at the Crossroads marked the 60th anniversary of the National Defense Education Act. Link
- HLS assistant dean Hilary Kahn named IU Bicentennial professor. Link
- The Center for the Study of Global Change helped strengthen cross-cultural and language competencies within the state of Indiana. Link
Thank you for your support of the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies in 2018 and beyond.
With best wishes for the new year, and hope to see you on campus in 2019.