In his year-end remarks, President Michael A. McRobbie drew special attention to the many achievements of the Hamilton Lugar School as he shared what makes IU a unique and empowering place to study.
Calling the Hamilton Lugar School’s commitment to international studies an issue of “vital importance,” he said, “We believe strongly that, of all that comprises a quality IU education, international literacy and experience rank at the very top.” Seventy percent of HLS students study abroad, and all gain vital global knowledge by studying the languages, cultures, and perspectives that shape our world. In fact, IU offers language instruction in 80-plus languages, more than any other school in the country, and most are housed in the Hamilton Lugar School.
With the help of esteemed and pioneering faculty who provide cutting-edge classes in everything from international human rights to cybersecurity to global trade, the Hamilton Lugar School “is preparing students for careers in which they will address some of the world’s most important economic, political, social, cultural and environmental challenges,” President McRobbie said.
Established in 2012 and named to honor the revered foreign policy voices and internationally-minded Hoosier statesmen Rep. Lee Hamilton and Sen. Richard Lugar, the Hamilton Lugar School has quickly become a nationally recognized leader in the fields of international and area studies. Last fall, the school received more funding under the Department of Education’s prestigious Title VI program than any other school in the country, a key indicator of the school’s and university’s commitment to innovation and the development of global leaders. The awards designated eleven HLS centers and programs as National Resource Centers or National Language Resource Centers. President McRobbie pointed out that “these centers conduct research and scholarship on various regions of the world that are critical to our understanding of and engagement with the broader world.” It is the university’s best result in the more than 60-year history of the Title VI program.
The Hamilton Lugar School is also working to make its compelling curricular and co-curricular opportunities available to all through the Global Leadership Scholars Program, which is part of the school’s broader mission to provide the analytic and critical tools necessary for students to become “the next generation of diplomats, public servants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers and nonprofit leaders,” added McRobbie.
On December 3, the school hosted its inaugural scholarship dinner to benefit the program. The evening of celebration and inspiration featured a fireside chat with former US Secretary of Defense and IU alumnus Dr. Robert M. Gates and Carol Giacomo, the editorial board writer for foreign affairs at The New York Times. Proceeds allow the school to grant multiple full and partial scholarships to incoming Hoosier students.
President McRobbie noted that recipients of the scholarship, as well as all graduates of the Hamilton Lugar School, “will follow in the footsteps of the school’s namesakes and other distinguished IU alumni, such as former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.”
The Hamilton Lugar School is located in the Global and International Studies Building—the hub of international activities on the IU Bloomington campus. Dedicated in 2015 by then US Secretary of State John Kerry, the LEED Gold-certified building is home to eight departments and 30 institutes, centers, and programs. The school will play a crucial role in the university’s third century as it engages with complex issues and regions and seeks shared understanding in critical areas of inquiry.