Excerpt from Honoring a Remarkable Leader: Former State Representative Bill Cochran

IUAA Reception at IU Southeast
University Center North
Hoosier Room East
IU Southeast
New Albany, Indiana
December 8, 2011

Honoring a Remarkable Leader

The progress that we are seeing in so many areas across the university has been years in the making.  It results from the efforts of many people from across the state and around the world.  Tonight, it is my pleasure to recognize one of these people.

Bill Cochran has been a true champion for higher education in Indiana, for IU, and for IU Southeast.

Most of you know that Bill has deep roots in this community, having been born and raised here.  And those roots grew deeper during his 34 years of service in the State Legislature. In his service to the state, he represents the tradition of leadership for this district that continues today. 

As Bill himself once said, “I am committed to providing education opportunities to all students, and I will continue to work for equal funding for education. I also am dedicated to making sure we get our fair share of tax dollars in Southern Indiana.”

Over the years, Bill achieved those goals for his district, establishing the area’s tourism and convention bureau and the New Albany police merit board; securing funding for the Providence Retirement Home in New Albany as well as for a number of road projects.   

But it was Bill’s efforts on behalf of IU Southeast that earned him the title “Mr. IUS” among his colleagues in Indianapolis and elsewhere.  He shepherded through funding for the new library building, Knob View, and the new dormitory lodges. The end of his tenure in the legislature did not end his service to this campus and to Indiana University.  He continues to serve as special assistant to the chancellor and as a link between the university and the legislature.

True testimony to Bill’s impact came at a toast to his leadership arranged by Senator Connie Sipes, Baron Hill, and Mayor Doug England at which Lee Hamilton and Judy O’Bannon were among the speakers.  This is the caliber of Bill’s leadership, and we are deeply grateful for his many years of service.

Bill, would you please join me at the podium?

In recognition of your outstanding contributions to higher education in Indiana, to Indiana University, and to the IU Southeast campus, it is my great pleasure to present to you the Indiana University Distinguished Service Medal.

Bill, thank you and congratulations.

The Importance of Friends

In difficult times especially, not only should we take great pride in the university’s extraordinary success, but we should recognize friends and supporters of the university like Bill Cochran.

Like Bill, you all have been with us during good times and bad. Your steadfast commitment to IU has enabled us to maintain our strong academic programs, retain our best researchers, and build the facilities that our students and scholars need for 21st century education and research.

On behalf of this great university, please accept my deep and enduring gratitude for all that each of you has done to help make Indiana University one of this state’s most successful enterprises.