Indiana University East reviews the accomplishments, celebrations and memorable moments of its students, faculty, staff and campus.
Record Breaking Numbers
IU East continued to increase its headcount enrollment of 3,766 students, an increase of 1.2 percent. Other enrollment categories to increase include the number of credit hours, the number of degree-seeking domestic minorities, number off student enrolled in online degree completion programs, the number of international students enrolled is at its highest, and the number of area high school salutatorians and valedictorians choosing IU East increased to 14. The Class of 2023 is part of Indiana University’s Bicentennial celebration year.
Accomplishments and Recognition
Throughout the year, IU East has helped to celebrate the IU Bicentennial. As part of the celebrations, IU President Michael McRobbie and the Board of Trustees selected 25 faculty members to serve as an IU Bicentennial Professor following a nomination process. The Bicentennial Professors are part of the university’s continued commitment to public outreach and community engagement. IU East Associate Professor of Biology Parul Khurana was selected for the year-long appointment. As an IU Bicentennial Professor Khurana has traveled around the state delivering public presentations at community forums to share her research and professional activities.
Craig Kinyon, president/CEO of Reid Health, and Charlie Nelms, Chancellor Emeritus of IU East, received Indiana University Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Kinyon and Nelms received the honorary degree during the 48th Commencement Ceremony. The honorary degree is the highest academic recognition Indiana University can bestow, is awarded to individuals who demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity and sincere concern for the public good. In addition, candidates for the honorary degree generally have significant ties to the state of Indiana or to Indiana University. Through this high honor, IU seeks to recognize individuals who may serve as role models for students, faculty, alumni and the people of the state of Indiana.
Three IU East alumna received scholarships to the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law on scholarship. McKinney is located on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis. Cassidy Clouse, of New Castle, Indiana, and Class of 2019 graduates Brianna (Parker) Rea, also from New Castle, and Taylor Webster, of Richmond, Indiana, are attending McKinney beginning this August. Clouse received the Kennedy Law Scholar award. Rea and Webster received an IU Regional Law Scholar award.
Memorable Moments, Events and Celebrations
IU Soul Revue brought its high-energy, highly talented group to campus to perform in March at the Student Events and Activities Center. IU Soul Revue is directed by IU East alumnus James A. Strong, Jr. The Indianapolis native is a renowned bassist, musical director, and producer. Strong received his B.S. in Business Administration from IU East in 2013. IU Soul Revue will return to IU East on March 12, 2020.
Anastasia Rodionova became the eighth Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) player to receive her bachelor’s degree during commencement in May. Rodionova earned her B.S. in Business Administration degree with minors in entrepreneurship and sports management. She was one of 17 WTA players enrolled during the spring semester at IU East through an educational agreement between the campus and the Women’s Tennis Benefits Association (WTBA). She joined IU East alumnae Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, Alla Kudryavtseva, Irina Falconi, Katalin Marosi, Sandra Zaniewska and Ivana Lisjak.
For the second year in a row, Randolph County brought 293 third-grade students to IU East on September 13 for the Randolph County Promise event, “Walk into My Future.” The program helps third-grade students and their parents open a College Choice 529 Direct Savings plan to pay for education beyond high school. The “Walk into My Future” event is a day of interactive learning and hands-on discovery, allowing the students a peek at what their future college experience could be like through their experiences.
The Faculty Scholarship Showcase was held on September 19 as part of IU East’s Bicentennial celebrations. Bicentennial Professor Parul Khurana presented the keynote. Special music was provided by IU East student Austin Haus. Faculty presenters included Melissa Blankenship, lecturer of English; Kelly Blewett, assistant professor of English; Brian Brodeur, assistant professor of English; Alisa Clapp-Itnyre, professor of English; Ange Cooksey, senior lecturer in humanities; KT Lowe, assistant librarian for instruction; Daron Olson, associate professor of history; Andrea Quenette, assistant professor of communication studies; Jessica Raposo, assistant professor of music; Natalia Rybas, associate professor of communication studies; Denise Smith, dean of the School of Business and Economics; Haewon Yang, piano instructor; Frances Yates, director of the Campus Library; Amber Hall, lecturer of education; and Denice Honaker, assistant professor of education.
Also in September, the IU East Alumni Associate (IUEAA) celebrated its 30th anniversary. During the event, the IU Bicentennial Medal was awarded to Bette Davenport, ’92, Terry Wiesehan,’96, Margie Weller, Greg Chamness ‘84, Ingrid Toschlog ‘87, Lari Hunt ‘76, and Lora Baldwin ’89 (posthumous). The Bicentennial Medal honors distinguished and distinctive service, broadly defined, in support of Indiana University’s mission as a public university, individuals who have enlarged the footprint of IU, or have helped to put IU on the map in unique ways.
In November IU East dedicated an IU Bicentennial Marker and a State Historical Marker. The markers are located in front of Whitewater Hall. The IU Bicentennial Marker is located in the John W. and Patricia Ryan Rose Walkway in front of Whitewater Hall. IU is adding historical markers at campuses across the state to commemorate significant people, places, events and organizations that have had an impact on IU, the state, the nation and the world as part of the Bicentennial celebrations. The state marker examines IU East’s establishment and the growth of the campus over the years.
Also as part of the IU Bicentennial celebrations IU East honored three individuals for their service to the university and within the community during the Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner on November 15. The Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner was IU East’s official Indiana University Bicentennial event.
As part of the formal dinner the event included the presentation of the Chancellor’s Medallion, IU East Alumni Hall of Fame inductees, IU Bicentennial Medals and a major gift to IU East. The Chancellor’s Medallion recipients are Richard (Rick) E. Boston, Ginger Gray and Marvin (Tom) Thomas Williams, all of Richmond. Each also received an IU Bicentennial Medal. Additional IU Bicentennial Medals recipients during the event included Richard Bodiker, Angie Dickman, Shaun Dingwerth, Garry Kleer, John McBride, Ashton Veramallay, Jane Vincent, and IU Trustee Donna Spears, who previously received her Bicentennial Medal from President McRobbie and was additionally recognized during the Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner.
During the Chancellor’s Medallion, the IU East Alumni Association inducted three special alumni into the IU East Alumni Association Hall of Fame. Lora K. Baldwin (September 1958-March 2019), Michael R. Day, B.S. ’95, and James R. White, A.S. ’75 and B.S. ’79, were inducted in recognition and celebration as outstanding alumni of IU East.
Gifts supporting students
Ginger Gray, with her husband Cory Gray, is gifting $250,000 to IU East. The Ginger Gray Spirit of Philanthropy Fund will provide opportunities for students and student clubs to apply for funding that supports philanthropic efforts on and off campus. The gift was announced by IU Board of Trustee member Donna Spears during the Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner. The purpose of the gift is to provide students and student organizations with funding that will be used to create philanthropic efforts that will enhance the IU East campus or the Richmond community.
Additions, Enhancements and Renovations to Campus
The Virtual Reality Lab opened in Hayes Hall Room 024 in January. The VR Lab is available for use by students, faculty and staff, and benefits all academic disciplines. The VR Lab includes stations complete with high-speed computers capable of supporting the software and HTC Vive VR headsets, including 3D sound and hand panels. The VR Lab was made possible through a strong partnership with the IU Advanced Visualization Lab, which previously assisted the campus with an IQ-Wall in the First Bank Richmond Tech Zone in Whitewater Hall.
The quad area has seven new sculptures on display at IU East as part of the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, now on its third installation. The new sculptures were installed this summer. Each piece is on loan and will be on campus through August 2021. Each piece was carefully selected by exhibit jurors: Ann Kim, associate professor of fine arts; Carrie Longley, associate professor of fine arts; and Nate Kuznia, studio and gallery coordinator are the jurors.
Red Wolves Athletics
In just its third season of existence, the IU East women’s soccer team claimed the River States Conference Championship title and advanced to the NAIA Women’s Soccer
National Championship. The Red Wolves won the RSC Championship title match at Asbury University on November 16 by a 1-0 score. The victory sent IU East to Columbia, Kentucky, to face 2017 national champions Spring Arbor University in a NAIA National Championship Opening Round match. The Red Wolves led for the majority of their first nationals appearance before falling 2-1. IU East junior Dejhanna O’Bryant was named RSC Player of the Year. Red Wolves coach Shane Meridith was named RSC Coach of the Year. IU East has a 31-15-11 record in its three NAIA seasons.
The IU East men’s basketball team advanced to the Round of 8 at the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in early March. IU East rallied to beat Bethel (Indiana) in overtime in the first round of the national tournament. The Red Wolves then sent home Saint Francis (Illinois) in the Round of 16 to reach the national quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season. IU East is one of just two NAIA Division II programs in the nation to reach at least the Round of 8 at the last four national tournaments. Bishop Smith became IU East’s seventh NAIA men’s basketball All-American.
The IU East golf programs were well represented at the NAIA golf national tournaments in May. Bre Nowak concluded her All-America career with her third appearance in four years at the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship, held this year in Oklahoma City. Fellow Class of 2019 graduate Tyler Pearson qualified for the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship in Mesa, Arizona. Nowak and Pearson earned their nationals trips by taking first place in the individual standings at their respective River States Conference Championship events in April.
The IU East track and field programs played host to the River States Conference Outdoor Championships for the first time in program history. The Red Wolves hosted the two-day championship at Eaton High School on a pair of rainy days in late April. The event capped a strong season for the IU East track and field programs. The Red Wolf men’s team finished second at the RSC Indoor Championships in February. Seth Reynolds placed seventh in the 60 meter hurdles at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Champinships in Brookings, South Dakota, in early March to earn All-America honors for the fourth time in his illustrious career. IU East was represented at the NAIA’s indoor and outdoor national meets. Reynolds was named the RSC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. IU East freshman Will Mundy was named RSC Indoor Track and Field Newcomer of the Year.
Thais Mendez became the first IU East tennis player to earn a River States Conference Player of the Year honor. Mendez received the award for the 2018-19 season at the RSC Championship in late April, where she led the Red Wolves to their second appearance in three years in the tournament’s championship match. Mendez hasn’t missed a beat during the 2019-20 school year. She repeated as the No. 1 singles champion at the RSC Individual Tournament in late August. She enters the 2020 calendar year at No. 29 in the NAIA’s national individual singles rankings.