From the Desk of the Chancellor – August 28
I am very sad to report that IUPUI's 2nd Chancellor, Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D., passed away Thursday, August 23, after a brief illness that occurred while he was visiting his lake home in Goshen. Glenn Irwin was chancellor of IUPUI from 1973 to 1986. He had a deep fondness for this campus and had been a dedicated statesman for more than a quarter century since his retirement as chancellor, rarely failing to attend important meetings or campus events. For many of those years, he was the unofficial historian of the campus, known for occasionally presenting a slide show he'd developed while chancellor called "West Side Story." Later, he helped with the preparation of "A Brief History of the Indiana University School of Medicine," published in 1993 for the school's 90th anniversary.
Glen was an IU alumnus (B.S. 1942, M.D. 1944) and served his medical residency at IU before and after service in the U.S. Army. He joined the faculty in 1950 as an instructor and became professor of medicine in 1961. He was dean of the medical school from 1965 to 1973, and it was during his tenure that the Indiana Statewide Medical Education System was established.
As chancellor of IUPUI, he oversaw the development of the "University Quarter" (Cavanaugh, Lecture Hall, etc.) and quipped that he "spent a lot of time with architects" in those early years. He deepened IUPUI's partnership with the city in the amateur sports movement, setting the stage for the Pan Am Games. Under his watch the Center on American Studies (Peirce Edition Project) came about in 1976 as well as IUPUI's first master's degree program (history). Student enrollment went from 17,000 to 23,000, and the faculty grew apace, from 800 to 1,300. Some 40 new degree programs came into being so that there were more than 175 in place when Jerry Bepko succeeded him as chancellor.
In 1995, he joined with fellow former Dean of Medicine Walter Daly in a ceremonial swing of a golden sledgehammer as a way of beginning the demolishment of the stucco "cottages" near Long Hospital (now Long Hall), where the two former med school deans once slept when they were on night calls during their residencies at the med center.
In IUPUI's 40th anniversary year, we were proud to recognize Glenn Irwin with the Chancellor's Medallion. We will miss him at the many events he faithfully attended: Employee Recognition Convocation, State of the Campus, Report to the Community, Commencement, IUPUI Board of Advisors meetings, and many more. His legacy is strong. His imprint on the development of this campus is indelible. His physical presence may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.
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