From the Desk of the Chancellor, May 10, 2010
Chancellor Charles R. Bantz View print-quality image
May 10, 2010
- Diane Brown
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We just celebrated a weekend of wonderful Commencement activities! The Class of 2010 is on its way—flush with excitement, a sense of achievement, and bright hopes for the future. At the ceremony, Presidents McRobbie and Córdova presented honorary degrees to three people (Jane Fortune, Christopher Johns, and William Plater) whose lives of accomplishment are inspiring. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time with them.
Jane Fortune received an Indiana University honorary degree. Jane has made her mark locally, nationally, and internationally as a passionate patron of the arts and especially a champion of women in the arts. Locally, she has been involved in promoting the Indianapolis City Ballet. She is a sustaining life trustee of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Nationally, she is the founder of the Advancing Women Artists Foundation and the Florence Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Internationally, she has long been active in her adopted hometown of Florence, Italy, with the restoration and preservation of works by women artists. It was a delight to recognize her achievements and be with her family—including her daughter and son-in-law who flew in from Singapore!
Chris Johns also received an honorary degree from Indiana University. Chris is a prize-winning photographer who spent many years in Africa for National Geographic Magazine. He is the first photojournalist ever to be named editor-in-chief of the publication, a position he has held since 2005.The reputation of the magazine and the quality of its photography is known around the world. The foreword to Chris’s book of photography, Valley of Life: Africa's Great Rift, was written by Nelson Mandela. Chris credits our colleague, Jim Brown, who is retiring from the School of Journalism at IUPUI, with inspiring him to pursue a career in professional photojournalism.
Purdue’s honorary degree recipient was Bill Plater. As IUPUI’s former executive vice chancellor, Bill showed how the Purdue schools at IUPUI could be special points of pride for Indiana. He helped lay the foundation for graduate programs in science and engineering. He encouraged technology innovation through the Center for Teaching and Learning and helped Professor of Engineering and Technology Ali Jafari establish the CyberLab. This resulted in the development of a learning technology known as ANGEL (sold to Blackboard for $95 million) and Ali’s newest enterprise, Epsilen, an e-learning portal, in which the New York Times is the majority partner. Bill continues making contributions to all of IUPUI through his international work.
My congratulations to all these honorary degree recipients as well as to the Class of 2010!
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