On This Day in IUPUI History: November 14, 2014

November 14, 2014. 

On this day, former United States senator Richard G. Lugar was the main speaker at the L. Keith Bulen Symposium on American Politics. Sen. Lugar spoke on the then just-completed midterm congressional elections and their impact on United States politics and government. In January 2013, Lugar had stepped down from serving in the U.S. Senate after a distinguished 36-year tenure as an American statesman focused on international diplomacy and agricultural policy. Also on the program were the chairs of the Indiana state Democratic and Republican parties, John Zody and Tim Berry, respectively.

The Bulen Symposium, begun in 1998 and hosted by the IUPUI Department of Political Science in the School of Liberal Arts, has brought prominent political figures to campus to discuss the state of politics in the United States. Political leaders, academics, journalists, and political movers and shakers have shared their thoughts.

The symposium is named after L. Keith Bulen (1925-1999), a powerful behind-the-scenes figure in Indiana and national politics. As chairman of the Marion County Republican Central Committee in the 1960s, he fostered the "Unigov" system of consolidated city and county government as a way to ensure Republican dominance in the city. As a local kingmaker, Bulen selected Richard Lugar to run for city mayor. Lugar went on to call for a "great university for a great city," which forced Indiana University and Purdue University leaders to merge their Indianapolis campuses to create IUPUI. Bulen's successes in Indianapolis attracted the attention of national Republican leaders such as Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan. He served in influential positions in national Republican circles.

Since instigating the creation of IUPUI in 1969, as Indianapolis mayor and U.S. senator Richard Lugar has played a prominent part in shaping the development of IUPUI. He has appeared on campus on numerous occasions.  Among other things, a major research initiative in the School of Engineering and Technology is named after him. The Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy, established in 2007, works to develop new renewable energy sources and technologies.

Mayor Richard Lugar at School of Law building dedication, 1970 UA24-007343

To learn more about Lugar's connections to IUPUI, please consult staff at the IUPUI Special Collections and Archives speccoll@iupui.edu.


Updated Nov 14, 2018 by Editor Name Missing