Dear UIndy community,
2020 was a year unlike any in our University’s history. It was filled with numerous challenges for our students, staff, faculty, alumni—and of course the world around us. So many aspects of our society have faced fundamental questions about how to continue their work during the pandemic: schools and hospitals, places of worship, business and industry, government, and more. I am proud to see how often Greyhounds are at the center of these important conversations.
The University of Indianapolis has remained steadfast in our mission and committed to our motto “Education for Service.” In 2020 we graduated more than 1,400 students who left our campus ready to enter the increasingly digital workforce. They also became healthcare workers and educators who are making a difference in the lives of thousands, helping us through this uncertain time. Their success is a testament to the dedication of our faculty and staff, who provide an essential network of support for our students and each other.
COVID-19 has touched everyone in some way. While caring for themselves and their families through illness and loss, Greyhounds found ways not only to cope but to excel. In the face of adversity, we have seen great sacrifices from our community and beyond—acts that bravely put the safety of the community ahead of personal wants and needs. I have been deeply moved by the ability of our campus community to navigate this new reality, and our collective commitment to #ProtectThePack.
Even in light of these circumstances, 2020 was one of the most fulfilling years to be a Greyhound since I arrived on campus. Seeing our campus community and our alumni network show resilience and innovation in the face of ongoing challenges filled me with extreme pride. When I last wrote to you I said that the story of what we accomplished during this challenging chapter of our history was still being written and that is still true today. In the interim you have been working fervently to add to that story. Our community continues to lead by example as catalysts for good in the world around us.
In this edition of Portico, you will see the impact our campus initiatives are having and you will get to know some recent graduates who are beginning careers as change agents during this tumultuous time. During the Fall 2020 semester, we strove to provide a student experience that has become expected of the University of Indianapolis. We hosted virtual concerts and lectures, connecting our students with artists and thinkers who helped us better understand ourselves and the world around us. We facilitated vital conversations about social justice, inclusion, and equity to explore our roles as educators and advocates. The Professional Edge Center used virtual platforms to facilitate employer networking opportunities for students. Our Homecoming festivities, though they looked very different in 2020, culminated in the donation of more than $8,000 to local charities. Our students, across all disciplines, remained engaged in the community fulfilling the University’s mission of “Education for Service.”
We have also remained true to our legacy and tradition of finding ways to support our students, which has never been more important than it was in 2020. We announced several campus developments, including new spaces for the R.B. Annis School of Engineering and the Department of Art & Design. Students from the Master of Public Health program and the School of Nursing performed critical work on the University’s contact tracing team, helping to limit the spread of the virus. The UIndy Fund also played a pivotal role in supporting our campus community in 2020, allowing our students to flourish on campus and contribute to the community around us.
As we begin this year with a return to normalcy on the horizon, I hope you take a moment to appreciate all that our community has accomplished during this time of adversity and I hope you take as much pride in being a part of the Greyhound family as I do.
Robert L. Manuel
University of Indianapolis President