"Community Partnership for Sound Minds and Sound Bodies"

Dedication of the Medical Education Building
Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne
October 30, 2009


In his work Some Thoughts Concerning Education, the great philosopher John Locke, who was also a medical researcher and physician, famously wrote, “A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world.”1

What John Locke wrote over three centuries ago is equally true on this day of celebration. Today, we mark the happy confluence of education and health—a sound mind and a sound body—as we dedicate this magnificent new Medical Education Building here at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne.

An Historic Foundation

Education and health have been intimately connected for over a century through the IU School of Medicine. Since it was establishment in 1903, the IU School of Medicine has graduated over sixteen thousand physicians and has grown to include nine medical education centers across the state, including the strong program here at Fort Wayne, established in 1981.

During that century, radical changes have taken place within the world of medicine, changes that could not have been imagined at the dawn of the twentieth century. In that time, Watson and Crick revealed the structure of DNA, the miracle drug penicillin was discovered, and technology like the electron microscope has dramatically expanded diagnostic science. In the past decade alone, we have seen the mapping of the human genome, the creation of ever more precise imaging technology, and great advances towards cures and treatments for some of the most insidious diseases like cancer.

Building Strong Partnerships

As you all know, this is the kind of work that is taking place right here in Fort Wayne where researchers focus on diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, where they conduct trials related to those neurological diseases along with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. In fact, research at the School of Medicine–Fort Wayne involves collaborations with Parkview Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, physicians and physician practice groups, and scientists on the IPFW campus, and represents a model for community partnerships that have a lasting effect on community health and well–being.

This is the rich and collaborative research environment in which students thrive as they refine the skills and build the knowledge they will need to treat patients in the twenty–first century. And the opportunities for such an education continue to expand with this facility. Just this fall, we welcomed the expansion of the medical education program here in Fort Wayne, which added third year clerkships with area physicians. Well over 100 such physicians volunteer their time and expertise to help train students in the IU School of Medicine at Fort Wayne and enable it to offer cutting–edge clinical experience.

Here in Fort Wayne, IU-trained doctors like Sharon Singleton are helping train the next generation of physicians who are so vital to this region and others across Indiana. I believe Sharon may be with us this afternoon. Would you all join me in thanking her and her colleagues for their support of the Medical Education program at IPFW?

Pioneers in the Interest of Hoosiers

Collaboration is at the heart of the Fort Wayne campus, which has a history that predates its official establishment in 1964. IU first began offering classes in Fort Wayne in 1917. Purdue began offering classes in the 1940s. As some here may remember, for many years our separate extension centers were housed in the same high school building.

It was in 1964 that IU President Elvis Stahr and Purdue President Frederick Hovde joined the resources of the state’s two great research universities to serve the needs of a Hoosiers across the state. In doing this, they created our first regional partnership campus, and they paved the way for the decades of collaboration that have since provided educational opportunities to tens of thousands of Indiana citizens.

Thanks to State Leaders

The building that we are dedicating today offers clear evidence of what can be accomplished when people and institutions commit to collaboration. And that collaboration extends from right here in Fort Wayne all the way to the statehouse. I would be remiss if I did not mention the fundamental partnerships—the one we have with the State of Indiana and her elected officials. We remain very grateful to the legislature for providing $12 million in bonding authority for the construction of this marvelous new facility. We are also grateful for the $10 million in funding for the Indiana Innovation Alliance, our unprecedented life sciences partnership with Purdue.

These important investments were made possible by strong advocates for the cause of Hoosier higher education. They were made possible by public servants committed to the growth and development of this community.

I am delighted that we will hear from some of them today. I want to officially extend IU’s greetings and gratitude to Senator Tom Wyss (District 15), Senator Dennis Kruse and Representatives Win Moses (District 81), Randy Borror (District 84), Phyllis Pond (District 85), Matthew Bell (District 83), Richard Dodge (District 51), Matt Lehman (District 79) and Mr. Derek Pilley, representing Congressman Mark Souder.

I would like also like to extend my special thanks to two people who were highly instrumental in seeing this project become a reality. First, retired Senator Bob Meeks, as then–chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee played a pivotal role in securing funding for this project. We are so pleased that Senator Meeks could join us for this ceremony. Second, Senator David Long, President Pro Tem of the Senate, was a driving force behind this project, and we are extremely grateful for his efforts. Senator long was unable to join us today, but both he and Senator Meeks have been champions of higher education in Indiana, and we are deeply grateful for their longtime support.

Finally, I would also like to recognize Chancellor Wartell for his energetic and enthusiastic leadership and former center director Barth Ragatz for all their efforts in working with the community and our representatives to make this new facility and expanded program in Fort Wayne a reality. Would you please join me in thanking our university, local, and state leaders for their dedication and leadership?


And thank you all for your support of the great progress we are making in Fort Wayne and across the state. Indiana University and Purdue University, working in partnership, are making a difference in Hoosier lives, helping create sound minds and sound bodies.

Source Notes

  1. Locke, John. Some Thoughts Concerning Education. 1693. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1902.