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IU honors 60th anniversary of National Defense Education Act with symposium

For Immediate Release Oct 24, 2018

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University will host national and global leaders in education, business and government to address issues influencing the international education landscape in honor of the 60th anniversary of the National Defense Education Act.

The International Education at the Crossroads symposium Oct. 26 and 27 will feature keynote speakers Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Diane Auer Jones, principal deputy undersecretary delegated to perform the duties of undersecretary and assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education.

“We look forward to welcoming leading voices from the United States and around the world to Indiana University to discuss the future of international education, and the challenges, opportunities and priorities that we face in this area,” said Deborah Cohn, symposium co-chair and professor of Spanish and Portuguese in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Every aspect of our lives is touched in some way by global forces, and we look forward to discussing how best to provide future generations with the knowledge and skills that they need to be global citizens.”

The National Defense Education Act was signed into law on Sept. 2, 1958, and the legislation’s Title VI funding underwrote the dramatic and transformative expansion of language and area studies at all levels of education across the United States. Today, Title VI is far from the only model or source of funding, yet it continues to sustain and advance international education as well as adapt to a changing landscape.

“IU has long been a leader in U.S. Department of Education Title VI programs, which have helped lay the foundation to make Indiana University one of the most internationalized universities in the U.S.” said Hilary Kahn, co-chair of the symposium and IU assistant dean for international education and global initiatives in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. “With more than 70 languages taught and students from 150 countries studying here, this symposium honors IU’s historic strength while looking toward the future needs and priorities of this university and of higher education as a whole.”

The two-day conference will also include a presidential panel featuring:

  • Hannah Buxbaum, IU vice president for international affairs, as moderator.
  • Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities.
  • Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education.
  • Lee Hamilton, former U.S. representative, a distinguished scholar in the Hamilton Lugar School and professor of practice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU.
  • Safwan M. Masri, executive vice president for global centers and global development at Columbia University.
  • Michael A. McRobbie, IU president.

The International Education at the Crossroads symposium is part of the IU Bicentennial celebration, a multiyear, multicampus program that will engage faculty, staff, students, alumni and the general public with exciting programs that will celebrate, chronicle and explore IU’s history and inspire the next 100 years at Indiana University.

Conference events are free and open to the public, and registration is now open. Conference registration questions should be directed to or 800-933-9330, and program-related questions should be directed to

Media Contact

Office of the Bicentennial

Brittany Terwilliger

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