President Emeritus McRobbie Portrait Unveiling
February 18, 2022
On February 17, 2022, the IUPUI campus unveiled the portrait of Michael A. McRobbie, the 18th president of Indiana University, which will be on display among other IU and Purdue presidential portraits in the University Library.
IUPUI has a history of honoring Indiana University and Purdue University presidents for their service as leaders by hanging their portraits at the north entryway to the University Library. That tradition started with IU’s 14th president John Ryan and Purdue’s 8th president Arthur G. Hansen.
President McRobbie served Indiana University from 2007 to 2021 and oversaw tremendous growth on campuses across the state of Indiana. That included reaffirming IU’s commitment to diversity and equity, overseeing the most extensive period of building and construction in IU history, amounting to $2.5 billion in projects, advancing IU’s leadership in health sciences education and research and business education in close partnership with IU Health, and overseeing the $3 billion For All: The IU Bicentennial Campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in IU’s history and one of the largest ever by a public university, among a number of other accomplishments.
For more information about President Emeritus McRobbie’s accomplishments and his current endeavors, please see the Office of the University Chancellor website.
McRobbie’s portrait depicts him in front of Dale Chihuly’s sculpture “DNA Tower,” located in the Morris Mills Atrium of the School of Medicine’s Van Nuys Medical Science Building at IUPUI, Indiana’s principal health sciences campus. “DNA Tower” recognizes Nobel Laureate James Watson, who completed his doctorate at Indiana University (1950). He jointly discovered the structure of DNA, a discovery that led directly to the invention of mRNA vaccines that played a major role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic that commenced in 2020.
The inclusion of “DNA Tower” in McRobbie’s portrait acknowledges the role he played while president in successfully leading the university through the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic and the university’s commitment to science during the course of that response. In addition, this element in the portrait recognizes the efforts of all health sciences professionals at IUPUI and across the IU system to keeping the entire IU community safe and healthy during that time.
The portrait was painted by Anthony Droege, Professor Emeritus of Fine Art at Indiana University South Bend. Born in Philadelphia, Droege holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa and works in landscape, still life, and portraiture. Droege retired in 2008 after 37 years on IU South Bend’s faculty where he served as chair of the Fine Art Department from 1982 to 1990.