University Hall Dedication

Campus Center, Room 450
Indianapolis, Indiana
October 8, 2015

Introduction: Bridging Two Centuries of Growth and Change

A century ago, as Indiana University approached its centennial, IU’s 10th president, William Lowe Bryan, was presiding over what was, at that time, the largest period of growth and change in the university’s history. It was during this period that IU grew prodigiously with the addition of nine new schools to the original just two. These included IU’s graduate school and many of the schools that provide the backbone of education and research in the professions in Indiana—including, of course, the IU School of Social Work.

In a speech in 1911—the same year the School of Social Work was founded as the Department of Social Service—Bryan observed that the expansion of the university proceeded, in his words, “from the deep social needs which have given rise to the university itself. …The university exists,” he continued, “to solve the problems which our complicated civilization must have solved and to train men (and women) to take the varied and difficult kinds of work required by that civilization.”1

Today, we are in the midst of another period of enormous growth and change at Indiana University, the most extensive since the Bryan era. Over the last eight years, eight schools have been newly established or reconfigured, including the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, globally recognized as the first school of its kind. Over this same time, IU has seen the most active period of building and renovation in its history, with the construction or renovation of nearly 70 major facilities on all its campuses—including new or renovated space for all of IU’s new schools.

The building we dedicate today, University Hall, bridges these two eras of transformation and growth at Indiana University. While it is firmly a part of the modern era, and provides a home for of one of IU’s newest schools—the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy—it also provides critically needed additional space for a school that is the oldest program of its kind in the United States and one of that, during the Bryan era, helped transform Indiana University from a small, traditional liberal arts college into one of the leading modern research universities of the 20th century—the IU School of Social Work.

The School of Social Work and The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Both of these schools were born out of the same missions of Indiana University that President Bryan cited over a century ago: to contribute solutions to society’s most pressing problems through excellent research, service, and engagement; and to educate the next generation of men and women to take on the work most needed by our society.

The work done in both schools helps to affect positive social change and has an enormous impact on the lives of many people across the state, the nation, and around the world.

For more than 100 years, the School of Social Work has helped people face and overcome problems that threaten to derail their lives. It is, in fact, as I mentioned, the oldest professional social work education program in the United States that began and continuously functions as part of a university.

The school has grown from a department to a division to a graduate school to a full-fledged, university-wide school with a presence on every campus of Indiana University.

It is also one of the largest schools of social work in the nation. It is home to 84 full-time faculty members across the university, enrolls 1,200 students in its programs statewide, and has nearly 10,000 living graduates.

The school’s mission statement echoes President Bryan’s observation that Indiana University’s growth proceeded from society’s greatest needs, as the school is dedicated to “excellence in education, research and service to promote health, well-being, and social and economic justice in a diverse world.”

In 2013, we inaugurated a new school that is part of the current era of transformational growth and change at Indiana University—the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, named in honor of one of the truly great philanthropic families in the United States.

Part of the school’s mission is to increase the understanding of philanthropy and improve its practice worldwide through critical inquiry, interdisciplinary research, teaching, training, and civic engagement. The school is also leading the way in the growth of philanthropic studies as an integrated field of study that develops positive and lasting change in the world. In this way, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is also helping to address the deep social needs that gave rise to the university itself, just as President Bryan described more than a century ago.

Administrative Space

University Hall also provides a wonderful new home for the campus and university administration, and for the Indianapolis offices of two closely affiliated organizations that work together to serve one of the largest alumni bodies in the country, and to foster lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, and others in order to maximize private support for the university—the IU Alumni Association and the IU Foundation.

University Hall will provide new and unexpected opportunities for collaboration not only between the students, faculty, and staff of the two schools it houses, but also between the various administrative units that call it home. And those collaborations will allow Indiana University to make even greater contributions to society’s needs and to more effectively educate the next generations of students who will take on society’s most pressing challenges.

Special Thanks

I want to commend the deans of both schools—Michael Patchner and Amir Pasic—who are with us today and from whom you will hear in a few minutes—as well as Gene Tempel, the founding dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy—for their leadership that has helped us reach this moment that we are celebrating today.

I also want to commend Chancellor Nasser Paydar, from whom you will hear in a moment, and his predecessor Charles Bantz, who was one of the leading advocates for this facility.

I also want to thank the members of the School of Social Work’s Dean’s Advisory Council and the School of Philanthropy’s Board of Visitors, many of whom are here today. Your wise counsel remains integral as we work together to guide the schools’ development.

And, finally and more generally, I would like to thank our Trustees for their steadfast and enthusiastic support—not only for this building—but, more generally, for their continued and ongoing efforts to guard and care for the welfare of our institution.


In the 1911 speech from which I quoted earlier, William Lowe Bryan said: “Our task is to discover and create the university for our century.”

As we dedicate University Hall—a splendid new facility that will augment the ability of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the IU School of Social Work to make real advances, to shape the future, and to enhance the quality of people’s lives—we celebrate a facility that is also helping members of the Indiana University community to discover and create the university for the 21st century.

We look forward to celebrating the many, many achievements and advances that are yet to come.

Source Notes

  1. William Lowe Bryan, “Economy in University Administration,” remarks delivered in 1911, IU Archives.