On This Day in IUPUI History: June 24, 1997

June 24, 1997. 

On this day, IUPUI chancellor Gerald L. Bepko spoke at the James A. Rouse Forum on the American City, held in Washington, DC. The forum was a showcase of the top movers and shakers and thinkers about urban redevelopment. Indianapolis was one of five United States cities highlighted on the program (the others were Cleveland, Chattanooga, Portland, and Baltimore). Each city's mayor headed a panel of civic leaders of that city, including a leader of an institution of higher education. 

As it was a panel discussion, Chancellor Bepko did not prepare a speech in advance (if he had Archives would have a copy among his records). Instead, he spoke off the cuff, or, more accurately, from some rough notes that he scribbled on two sheets of paper. He preserved those notes, which reside in Archives.

Bepko spoke about IUPUI and the city's strategies behind what he termed "the Indianapolis renaissance, including the role of public higher education as a contributor to economic development." If previous speeches he had made on much the same topic were his guide, he outlined IUPUI's curious origin story and highlighted the university's active collaboration with civic organizations and political leaders in such matters as the city's push to be a sports destination, how the Medical Center was an engine of economic development, and how the university's thinkers were poised to assist government and industry leaders to solve a wide variety of problems. On the flipside, he highlighted community support for university projects and priorities such as the building of a new University Library.

In short, the chancellor outlined the path that IUPUI had taken in its twenty-eight years of existence, under the leadership of three chancellors.

Chancellor Bepko's notes for Rouse Forum, 1997

Want to study the speeches of IUPUI chancellors? Come to IUPUI Special Collections and Archives to see the speech files. Contact staff at speccoll@iupui.edu.

Updated Jun 24, 2019 by Editor Name Missing