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From the Desk: Bicentennial director gearing up for IU’s 200th anniversary celebration

Aug 29, 2018
Kelly Kish
Kelly Kish.Photo by Chaz Mottinger, Indiana University

Are you ready for Indiana University’s 200th anniversary?

The IU Bicentennial celebratory year (2019-20) is fast approaching, and the Office of the Bicentennial has a number of resources for you as you plan to commemorate this milestone in your own unique way. If you don’t know what’s planned, visit and check out our Signature Projects and the informative new IU History blogs developed by our student interns.

To stay updated on bicentennial activities and learn about some of the interesting and untold history of the university, check out our six-issue special edition magazine. For example: Which of the following has never been an IU mascot?

  1. Goat.
  2. Bulldog.
  3. Bison.
  4. A red-bearded man in a cowboy hat.
  5. All of the above have been IU mascots.

You’ll find the answer in the second issue of 200: The Bicentennial Magazine.

Bicentennial celebratory events will kick off in July 2019, but a number of programs and activities are already underway.

  • The Bicentennial Oral History Project, capturing a people’s history of the university, has recorded more than 1,000 oral histories to date. Consider sitting for your faculty or staff interview soon, or join our interview team to record the stories of your colleagues.
  • Exciting art projects are under development on several IU campuses, and you’ll want to see these incredible faculty-led pieces when they are unveiled.
  • The Bicentennial Publication and Media Series has published several books and will release many more in the coming months.
  • Our committees have approved 11 historical markers for installation, awarded 33 project grants and seven course grants, sponsored 19 conferences, and supported the research of 87 student interns.

Mark your calendar now for our marquee events:

  • 200 Festival: Sept. 26 to 29, 2019
  • IU’s 200th Anniversary: Jan. 20, 2020
  • Global Alumni Celebration and Reunion: June 1 to 6, 2020
  • Bicentennial Gala: June 6, 2020

Our toolkit contains templates, images, graphics and marks that you can use to generate marketing and communications materials, jazz up your social media profiles and show your spirit. For those of you who are still brainstorming about how you or your department can get involved in the IU Bicentennial, take a look at our checklists for individuals and departments.

We look forward to celebrating this momentous occasion with you.

Kelly Kish is the deputy chief of staff for IU President Michael A. McRobbie and bicentennial director.

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