Record number of Chancellor's Medallions honors IUPUI's 50th anniversary

For almost 20 years, the IUPUI chancellor has awarded Chancellor's Medallions to people of vision, character, high achievement, and distinguished service to the university and the community. It is the highest honor the chancellor can bestow.

In recognition of IUPUI's 50th anniversary, the anniversary planning committee decided to elevate the award, transforming the design and increasing the number of recipients -- from two in a typical year to nearly 40.

Front and back views of the 50th Anniversary Chancellor's MedallionView print quality image
From left: Front and back views of the 50th Anniversary Chancellor's Medallion. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

A special medallion was created featuring the IUPUI 50th Anniversary official wordmark. The front features "IUPUI 1969-2019" surrounded by a pair of laurel branches with the IU trident and the words "The Chancellor's Medallion" on top. The back showcases the "50 years" spirit mark used on campus.

With this new medallion design in hand, a special subcommittee sought out nominations for up to 50 individuals or groups to receive the recognition. The subcommittee's recommendations were then given to Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar for final approval. The medallions were awarded at signature campus events and designated 50th-anniversary events during the celebration year.

Over the course of the anniversary year (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019), Paydar awarded 38 anniversary medallions to individuals, couples and organizations that embody the past, present and future of IUPUI at its very best.

"Two of the key goals of IUPUI's 50th-anniversary celebration were to explore IUPUI's history and to celebrate and recognize those people who have contributed to shaping the campus we have become," Paydar said. "I am proud to have recognized so many people who have dedicated themselves to IUPUI and whose achievements are an inspiration to us all."

The first person to receive a 50th Anniversary Chancellor's Medallion in September 2018 was R. Bruce Renda, retired founding dean of the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. The medallion was awarded during a visit to campus by Renda and his family. He was the first of eight former deans and associate deans to receive the anniversary medallion, including one posthumous award.

The late Joseph T. Taylor, founding dean of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, and his wife, Hertha, were awarded the medallions at the 30th annual Joseph T. Taylor Symposium in February. The namesake event examines issues of interest among communities of color through panel discussions and talks by IUPUI, local and national experts.

Only one other medallion was bestowed posthumously, and it was also given to a namesake couple. The Cox Scholars program, the largest scholarship program at IUPUI and Indiana University, is named after Jesse and Beulah Cox. The couple established the Cox Scholarship program at IUPUI in 2005 to assist working undergraduate students who are enrolled full time, reflecting Mr. Cox's own life story of working while attending IU Bloomington in the 1930s and '40s.

Five Indianapolis mayors -- Richard Lugar, Steve Goldsmith, Bart Peterson, Greg Ballard and Joe Hogsett -- in attendance for the Annual Report to the Community all received the anniversary medallion in a presentation that included a roundtable reflecting on the evolution of the university and the city.

The award was the second Chancellor's Medallion for former mayor and U.S. Sen. Lugar, who received his first medallion during IUPUI's 40th-anniversary celebrations. As Paydar reflected during the Report to the Community and at the time of Lugar's passing in April, IUPUI is the result of Lugar's vision for a first-class state university in the heart of the capital city.

Other medallion recipients include federal court judge Sarah Evans Barker, founder and president of the Steward Speakers Power Series Matthew Steward, IUPUI Chancellor Emeritus Charles R. Bantz, Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate and Professional Student Government, and numerous faculty and staff. The common thread among all of the recipients is that each played a role in what IUPUI has become over the last 50 years and what IUPUI continues to be now and in the future.

A complete list of the medallion recipients is available on the Chancellor's Medallion website, with additional details on each recipient's contributions to the university and the community.