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The International Center to honor IU President McRobbie as 2016 International Citizen of the Year

  • Feb. 12, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will receive the 2016 International Citizen of the Year Award, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the globalization of Indiana.

McRobbie will receive the award from The International Center at a special dinner and ceremony Sept. 20 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.

Last year marked the 30th anniversary for the award, which was established in 1985 to recognize Hoosiers who have fostered a world view in Indiana through business, culture, education, government, medicine, research, media, sports and community service. Since its establishment in 1973, The International Center has worked to promote public, private and civic global objectives in Indiana and build greater community awareness of international issues.

“The far-reaching impact Michael McRobbie’s leadership of Indiana University has had on our state’s international engagement is extraordinary,” said IU trustee James T. Morris, vice chairman of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, an International Center board member and honorary co-chair of this year’s event. "We look forward to the opportunity to convey this richly deserved honor to Dr. McRobbie.

“The International Center embraces diversity, passion, excellence and integrity as our values. It would be difficult if not impossible to find an individual in our state today who better exemplifies that set of values, at home and abroad, than Michael McRobbie.”

Previous winners of the International Citizen of the Year Award have included former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, today a professor of practice at IU’s School of Global and International Studies and a two-time winner, and former congressman Lee Hamilton, a distinguished scholar at the IU School of Global and International Studies, professor of practice at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs and director of the IU Center on Representative Government.

The list of past winners also includes former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, now president of Purdue University; the late former Indiana Gov. Robert Orr; maestro Raymond Leppard, conductor laureate of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; and IU trustees Randall L. Tobias and James T. Morris. Morris will be joined as honorary co-chair for this year's event by a number of other top civic and corporate leaders, including Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. 

In 2008, the IU-Kenya Partnership was honored with the International Citizen of the Year award. Lawrence Einhorn, a distinguished professor in the IU School of Medicine who discovered a cure for testicular cancer, received the award in 1997.

“I am deeply honored by this award,” McRobbie said. “The list of previous recipients includes some of Indiana's and the nation's greatest international citizens, who I admire immensely and who have left a lasting legacy in the state of true global engagement and understanding. It is also a great honor to join several past winners who have such strong ties to Indiana University and its long history of international institutional engagement.

“As the state of Indiana celebrates its bicentennial this year, and as IU prepares to mark its own bicentennial milestone four years from now, international engagement must be a core value for the university and all Hoosiers in a world that grows ever more globally interconnected and intertwined. The International Center has given sustained leadership in this area for over 40 years, and I am extremely grateful for this award."

McRobbie became IU president in 2007. Under his leadership, IU launched its first International Strategic Plan, which gives priority to increasing intellectually and culturally engaging study abroad opportunities for IU students; continuing and strengthening support for international students; establishing partnership agreements with the world's leading institutions of higher education; and further engaging its growing number of international alumni. 

McRobbie also led the establishment of IU's new School of Global and International Studies and the new building that houses the school, which brings together more than 250 scholars whose academic and research expertise covers nearly every corner of the globe and who teach some 70 foreign languages.

In recent years he has led university delegations to Africa, China, Germany, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South America, Southeast Asia and Turkey and has established or renewed cooperative agreements in research and education with many premier universities in those and other areas of the world.

Additionally, McRobbie has overseen the establishment of the IU Global Gateway Network, which supports, among other overseas initiatives, scholarly research and teaching, conferences and workshops, study abroad programs, student recruitment activities and alumni engagement events. The Global Gateway Network includes new gateway offices in China, Germany and India, and will grow in the coming years to include several more offices in countries and regions of strategic priority to IU. 

IU recently launched its Bicentennial Strategic Plan for Indiana University, which will continue IU's leadership into its next century and includes several key international goals and objectives.

While vice president for information technology before he became president, McRobbie established the Global Research Network Operations Center, which has grown to become the premier NOC in the world for the operation and management of high-speed research and education networks and connects the U.S. research community to international networks such as the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network. For his role in establishing APAN, McRobbie was given the APAN Founders Award in 2006.

A native of Australia, McRobbie received a Ph.D. from the Australian National University in 1979 and has honorary doctorates from the University of Queensland (2007); Sung Kyun Kwan University in Korea (2008); the Australian National University (2010); the South East European University in Macedonia (2011), which IU helped found; and Griffith University in Australia (2014). 

In 2013, Thailand's National Institute for Development Administration awarded him its Prince Naradhip Bongsprabandha Plaque for services to international education. In 2015, the Australian National University honored him as its Alumnus of the Year.

About The International Center

For the past 43 years, The International Center has served as a guide to the world’s cultural landscape and a catalyst for the state’s international growth. Working in collaboration with businesses, organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and individual citizens, the center works to expand Indiana’s global interest through a variety of programs and services and through convening diverse interests who share common international goals. The International Center is a member of Global Ties U.S.

Related Links

Michael A. McRobbie

Michael A. McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie speaks at the dedication of the IU India Gateway in 2014.

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie speaks at the dedication of the IU India Gateway in 2014.

Print-Quality Photo

Media Contacts

Mark Land

Associate vice president, IU Communications

Ryan Piurek