Honoring Jeanne Madison: Presentation of the E. Ross Bartley Award

Mini University Reception
Bryan House
IU Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana
June 13, 2013


It is a great pleasure to welcome the participants in this 42nd annual Mini University to Bryan House.

Your enthusiastic interest in Mini University and its outstanding programs is matched by Indiana University’s deep commitment to lifelong learning, a commitment shared by the outstanding faculty who eagerly agree to teach Mini University courses.

We are delighted that you all are here.

Mini University

I want to echo Laurie’s words of praise for this outstanding program. It truly is one of the finest programs of its kind anywhere in the country. Mini University has been recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and by Frommer’s Budget Travel magazine.1

The fact that many of you have come from across the country to enjoy this year’s courses and related events is testament to the quality of the program, as is the fact that the vast majority of you are returning Mini University students. In fact, some of you have been returning to IU every summer for well over twenty years. This is remarkable testimony to the power of education and the strength of your commitment.

As you are very much aware, education is a lifelong project. It requires persistence and passion, commitment and curiosity. And it returns beyond measure all that you invest.

At Indiana University, lifelong learning is about discovering and exploring new worlds. It is about building a community.

Honoring Jeanne Madison

And no one has done more to foster that sense of community than the woman who has for more than 15 years organized this award-winning and extremely popular program: Jeanne Madison. 

Jeanne grew up in Pennsylvania, and came to IU in 1966—along with her then-boyfriend, now-husband, Jim, who is the Thomas and Kathryn Miller Professor Emeritus in our Department of History. Many of you know him as a long-time Mini University faculty member. 

Jeanne earned a master’s degree in biology at IU, and then began her outstanding career at IU Bloomington in the Department of Biology. Since 1998, she has worked for Lifelong Learning, formerly known as Bloomington Continuing Studies. For a decade-and-a-half, she managed our award-winning Lifelong Learning and Mini University programs. Both programs, as you know, have grown and thrived under her excellent leadership.

Anyone who has ever attended Mini University, or hosted or taught a session, or worked on the staff, can attest to the fact that Jeanne is a consummate professional and that she possesses a strong work ethic and a penchant for attention to detail.

Of course, the week of Mini University is a busy and sometimes chaotic one for Jeanne. Her husband, Jim, shared one of the secrets to Jeanne’s success. Jim says that a week or more before Mini University begins, Jeanne lays out all of her clothing for the entire week because there is no time for making such decisions during the week. 

Now you know how Jeanne is able to always remain warm and gracious during this intensely busy week. As her Mini University and IU colleagues can attest, she never fails to show her appreciation or to join in the laughter in the midst of hard work and mounting deadlines.

Jeanne has received a number of honors for her outstanding contributions to IU and to continuing education.

In 2002, she received IU’s Staff Merit Award in recognition of her exceptional service to Indiana University and to lifelong learning.

And, in 2010, Jeanne was honored by the Indiana Council for Continuing Education as its Professional Staff Member of the Year.

And although she officially retired as a full-time employee in 2011 after 36 years of service to the university—she is still going strong as the co-director of Mini University.

Today, I am very pleased to add to Jeanne’s honors.

The E. Ross Bartley Award

In 1969, University Chancellor and President Emeritus Herman Wells established the E. Ross Bartley Award as the highest award available to honor administrative and support staff at Indiana University. Ross Bartley, after whom the award is named, was one of the most dedicated, knowledgeable, and loyal staff members in Wells’ administration.2 According to Chancellor Wells, the criteria for the new award are “based on the kind of service Ross gave—above and beyond the responsibilities of his office and the limits of the campus.”3

Award recipients receive a commemorative parchment and have their names added to a plaque in the Indiana Memorial Union on the Bloomington campus. They also receive a $2000 award, which is a token of the university’s gratitude for all their service.

Jeanne, would you please join me at the podium?

You have given service above and beyond the limits of your office as an administrator and a staff member. Thus, by the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Indiana University and in acknowledgement of all that you have done for the university, for your community, and for the State of Indiana, I present to you, Jeanne Madison, the E. Ross Bartley Award for meritorious administrative service.


Source Notes

  1. Seliger, Susan.  “Nine Best Learning Vacations in America.”  Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel (February 2002).  FindArticles. 2007. Indiana University.  17 June 2007.  <findarticles.com>.
  2. Wells Letter 13 May 1969.
  3. Wells Letter 13 May 1969.