Civic engagement—is one area where impact is made at IUPUI.
And it was something we celebrated with our community supporters at the launch of the IUPUI IMPACT Campaign on October 9.
Our goal for the IUPUI IMPACT Campaign: $1.25 billion!
Earlier that week, I had been to Washington, D.C., to accept on IUPUI's behalf the Washington Center Higher Education Civic Engagement Award—the most recent of many recognitions the campus has received for civic engagement.
That same day, Robert Bringle and Starla Officer, with our Center for Service and Learning, and Jim Grim (George Washington Community High School) were in Raleigh, N.C., at the National Outreach Scholarship Conference to receive the North Central Region Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award. This award recognized the IUPUI/GWCHS partnership that brought back to life a full-service community school on the near westside of campus.
Civic engagement is a hallmark of IUPUI. It is deeply rooted in our history and permeates all our activities—teaching, learning, and research. When the state established the medical school in downtown Indianapolis, it led to a concentration of schools locating here that were devoted to training health professionals and social workers. In fact, the IU School of Social Work is the nation's oldest academic training ground for professionals and celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The training of health care and social work professionals led to a practice-based orientation, and clinical placement settings gave us deep roots in the community. This also initiated a commitment to translating our research into practice.
That history became a paradigm for IUPUI's development, so that the partnership with the community that gradually evolved became implicit in the name we were given in 1969: Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.
For the past 41 years, IUPUI has partnered with our community to develop academic programs and research that address the educational, cultural, and economic development needs of our city and state. We have pledged through our mission statement to contribute to the development of the economic clusters in central Indiana that have been identified as special areas of opportunity: health and life sciences (of course!), plus information technology, advanced manufacturing, philanthropy and nonprofits, and arts/culture/tourism.
Engagement at this level of magnitude over time creates a cascade of impact that has gained in momentum and is sustained by the enthusiasm of our dynamic faculty, students, staff, alumni, and donors.
Jim Joseph, former President of the Council on Foundations, wrote: "The charitable impulse is triggered whenever people see themselves as part of a community, whether it be the family, the neighborhood, or the nation. As the sense of community expands, so does the scope of philanthropy."
Looking at the gifts we received in the silent phase of the IUPUI IMPACT campaign—totaling more than $860 million—we already see how broad the scope of philanthropy is for IUPUI. These supporters made gifts that enable us to fulfill our commitment to improving our community.
Researchers call this kind of giving "the philanthropy of civic engagement," because it aims to establish relationships among citizens that address common concerns.
Your giving to IUPUI has shown us that our combination of research, teaching, and civic engagement across the disciplines is a powerful way of establishing relationships that increase our understanding of one another and issues of common concern.
You have come to see how the concepts of engaged research, translating research into practice, and commitment to public purposes are fundamental to IUPUI's institutional character—and you appreciate our achievements.
Because of this commitment to engaged learning, engaged research, and civic engagement—and because of your support—IUPUI is where IMPACT is made!
As we move forward into the public phase of the IUPUI IMPACT Campaign, we ask that you help us expand the sense of community. You can do so by assisting us in telling our story, thus expanding the scope of philanthropy that helps us make an impact.