Year in Review: Top stories from IU in 2013

Dec. 23, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A record-breaking freshman class. A World War II battleship brought home. A new downtown art gallery. Two top NBA draft picks. Ancient copper coins found on the coast of Australia. A new but familiar name in the iconic Assembly Hall. The first trip to Africa by a sitting IU president in more than two decades. All of these reflect some of the top stories from across Indiana University's campuses in 2013.

The following is a summary, in chronological order, of the top IU stories of 2013, compiled by the IU Newsroom. Have something you think should make the list? Visit IU's Facebook page to share your suggestion or tweet us your ideas.

Lugar, Hamilton join IU faculty. Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar -- the longest-serving senator in Indiana's history and the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton -- who directs IU's Center on Congress and who served 34 years in the U.S. House, where he chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee -- joined IU's School of Global and International Studies as distinguished scholars and professors of practice.

IU endowment among highest in nation. Indiana University ranked 16th in the nation among public universities in the market value of its endowment, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers-Commonfund Study of Endowments. As of June 30, 2012, the market value of IU's endowment totaled $1.57 billion.

IU Gateway. IU opened its first international gateway office in India, a site that will serve as a home base for university activities in the country. The office supports scholarly research and teaching, international study and distance learning, business partnerships and alumni events.

IUPUI anthropologist Ian McIntosh

IUPUI anthropologist Ian McIntosh

The case of the ancient copper coins. An IUPUI anthropologist is attempting to unravel the mystery of how a handful of coins, some dating back more than 1,000 years, wound up on a remote beach along Australia's northern coastline. Four of the coins were identified with the Dutch East India Company, while others were African coins from the once flourishing Kilwa sultanate, now a World Heritage ruin in Tanzania.

IU mourns loss of police chief. The IU Bloomington community was deeply saddened by the unexpected death of longtime IU police chief Keith Cash, a 29-year veteran of the department. Deputy chief Laury Flint was appointed interim chief and, in November, was subsequently appointed chief of the department.

What's in a name? The nation's first school of philanthropy now carries a name long associated with extraordinary generosity in America: Lilly. "We are pleased that the school's name will honor their philanthropic leadership," the school's founding dean, Gene Tempel, said. "And we thank Lilly Endowment and the Lilly Family for their generous support of the School of Philanthropy and of Indiana University."

Fields of Dreams. IU softball's Andy Mohr Field and IU baseball's Bart Kaufman Field were both dedicated this spring. Highlights include new locker rooms, dugouts, indoor/outdoor hitting cages, scoreboards and hospitality suites, as well as a picnic area for fans. The new space clearly spurred cream-and-crimson pride -- the baseball team made a first-ever appearance in the NCAA Men's College World Series this year.

Big Red II goes online. Indiana University confirmed its leadership in high performance, data-intensive computing by unveiling Big Red II, a powerful new supercomputer that is enabling vital new research and breakthroughs in fields ranging from medicine and physics to fine arts and global climate research.

IU mourns loss of professor, cellist. The IU and Jacobs School of Music community mourned the loss of Distinguished Professor of Music and Grammy Award-winning cellist Janos Starker. He spent three months in a Nazi concentration camp as a child, where he lost two brothers, and went on to gain international fame performing with his instrument.

IU School of Medicine dean. Dr. Jay L. Hess, the Carl V. Weller Professor and chair of the Department of Pathology and professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, was selected as the new vice president for university clinical affairs and dean of the IU School of Medicine. He's the 10th dean in the school's 110-year history and the first dean in the past five appointments to come from outside IU.

Arts at IU Southeast receive generous boost. IU Southeast received a $655,000 gift to benefit the Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center on campus, supporting the production of cultural and educational programs and enabling the center to subsidize ticket prices to ensure performances remain affordable and accessible to the community.

USS Indiana comes home. Indiana University procured the original prow from the battleship, which served in the Pacific during World War II and was the last ship to be named for the Hoosier state. The acquisition reunited the front part of the ship with its mainmast and two of its gun mounts, already on display at Memorial Stadium. IU Communications created a special multimedia presentation honoring the prow's arrival to campus.

Art comes to downtown. IU East opened an art gallery in downtown Richmond, which includes studio space for faculty and students and a classroom. The site was selected to generate a more visible presence in the community, and long-term plans include developing additional partnerships and community-based initiatives focused on the arts. 

Flexibility for future nurses. IPFW is offering a new online Bachelor of Science RN to B.S. program with a major in nursing, designed for registered nurses with an associate's degree who want to purchase a bachelor's degree. The new program is intended to serve a growing trend in the medical industry requiring registered nurses to have a four-year degree.

Two top picks in the NBA draft. For the first time in program history, Indiana University had two men's basketball players selected within the first four picks of the NBA draft. Victor Oladipo was drafted second overall by the Orlando Magic, while Cody Zeller was selected fourth overall by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Alumni association membership climbs. Bucking a downward trend of most membership organizations around the country, the IU Alumni Association experienced an increase in membership over the last nine months of the fiscal year that ended June 30. The increase challenges a 10-year trend of declining membership, and is aligned with the association's strategic plan.

President McRobbie in Africa

President McRobbie in Africa

Out of Africa. IU President Michael A. McRobbie visited Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, the first trip to Africa by a sitting Indiana University president in more than two decades. The two-week tour included stops at a groundbreaking program involving the IU School of Medicine aimed at combating HIV/AIDS in the region, the signing of an agreement between IU's Kelley School of Business and one of South Africa's leading business schools, and meetings with administrators, faculty and IU alumni in the area. Earlier in the year, McRobbie visited South Korea, China and Taiwan.

Enrollment. This year's incoming freshman class established new highs for academic quality and its members were part of the largest group of students ever to begin an academic year at Indiana University. IUPUI recorded its 18th consecutive year of overall student growth, and its international enrollment increased by 15 percent. IU Kokomo's enrollment was up 12 percent, and its minority enrollment increased by nearly 30 percent, while IU Northwest's enrollment set a new record as well.

A new $45 million facility at IU Northwest. The campus secured funding to proceed with construction of a 106,000-square-foot facility to replace the flood-damaged Tamarack Hall, which will serve both IU Northwest and Ivy Tech Community College Northwest in a unique arrangement meant to encourage Ivy Tech students to finish their degrees at IU Northwest.

LGBT scholarships. The IU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association launched the nation's first-ever scholarship campaign devoted to assisting LGBT students and promoting leadership on LGBT concerns. Bolstered by an anonymous $500,000 challenge gift, the campaign kicked off with more than $200,000 in cash and pledges.

Entitled employees, bully bosses. An IU Southeast professor's research discovered a strong correlation between employees who believe they are entitled and abusive supervision. The study found that the more entitled an employee, the more likely he or she is to believe the boss is a bully and to react with bad behavior, which can pose a threat to managerial and organizational performance.

The Tale of Lady Th? Kinh

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính

IU professor writes new opera. The opera “The Tale of Lady Thị Kính,” composed by Indiana University Jacobs School of Music faculty member P.Q. Phan, will make its world premiere at the music school in spring 2014. Widely considered to be the first opera set in the Vietnamese culture, the production tells the traditional tale of Thị Kính, a compassionate and selfless girl who eventually attains Nirvana.

More than a century. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington recognized its 125th anniversary with a daylong program of major festivities, including unveiling a limestone sculpture of a human brain near the entrance to the Psychology Building, a model 7 feet high, making it the largest anatomically accurate brain sculpture in the world.

Math rules. Indiana University Bloomington’s Department of Mathematics led all other math departments at U.S. higher learning institutions with four faculty members selected this year as Fellows of the American Mathematical Society. Fifty mathematical scientists were named Fellows of the AMS for 2014, and only IU Bloomington’s College of Arts and Sciences placed four faculty members on the list.

A healthier lifestyle. IU Kokomo opened the doors to the Milt and Jean Cole Family Fitness and Wellness Center. The fitness center was named for the generous family that donated $1.25 million for the facility, the largest cash gift in campus history. The center quickly became a hub of campus activity, featuring a track, treadmills, weight machines and yoga.

Historic fundraising campaign. IU officials celebrated the conclusion of the IUPUI IMPACT campaign -- the lartest and most successful comprehensive fundraising compaign in the university's nearly 200-year-history -- which raised $1.39 billion, exceeding its initial goal of $1.25 billion.

Digital preservation. President McRobbie unveiled a $15 million Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative aimed at preserving and making accessible in digital form the unique and invaluable collections of video, recorded music and other irreplaceable material assembled by the university over its nearly 200-year history.

The ATLAS detector | Photo by CERN

The ATLAS detector | Photo by CERN

The 'god' particle. Work by IU physicists and technologists helped make the Nobel Prize in physics for Peter Higgs and Francois Englert possible. In part, IU physicists designed and built a key component of a detector used to discover the particle, while information technologists developed software for and operated an international computer grid used to analyze data from the Large Hadron Collider.

Trustees approve new Media School. The Indiana University Board of Trustees approved the formation of a new school that will provide a nexus for IU’s acclaimed programs of education and research in journalism, telecommunications, communications and culture, and film.

New leaders. IU East installed new chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe in a ceremony that focused on the future of the campus, including its deep commitment to the community and region it serves; while new IU South Bend chancellor Terry L. Allison encouraged plans for a first-year experience program and additional opportunities for mentoring relationships with students. In addition, the IU Southeast campus began its search for a new chancellor.

Two peptides better than one. Researchers at Indiana University and collaborators published results showing a molecule combining the properties of two endocrine hormones is an effective treatment for adult-onset diabetes. That's progress in the effort to find effective treatments to address what health authorities say is a global epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

IU Art Museum meets challenge. The IU Art Museum raised $1 million to match a $500,000 challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, fully endowing its senior academic officer position. This allows the museum to continue to provide future generations of students with the types of innovative museum-based courses, interdisciplinary academic programs and curriculum-structured tours that have been pioneered here since the late 1980s.

Sitcom helps discern gaze patterns. An IU study that examined the viewing patterns of adults with autism and compared them to people without autism found gaze patterns among those with autism were surprisingly similar to one another and different from the control group. The study used eye-tracking devices that measured the location of each participant's gaze as they watched a 22-minute episode of the NBC TV show "The Office."

Hadrian's Villa

Hadrian's Villa

Hadrian's Life. IU digital archaeologist Bernie Frischer used 3-D computer modeling to bring to life one of the Roman Empire's best-known and best-preserved imperial villas -- Hadrian's Villa. The simulation interprets the entire 250 acres and the more than 30 buildings of the second-century site.

Life on Mars. IU geologists David Bish and Juergen Schieber, working with NASA's Mars Science Lab team, helped detail the mineralogy and chemistry of rock samples collected by the Curiosity rover that determined that, in the distant past, Mars possessed conditions needed to support life.

Fight against STDs advances. Biochemical sleuthing by an Indiana University graduate student has ended a nearly 50-year-old search to find a megamolecule in bacterial cell walls commonly used as a target for antibiotics, but whose presence had never been identified in the bacterium responsible for the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States.

Not just concussions. Repeated blows to the head during a season of contact sports may cause changes in the brain's white matter and affect cognitive abilities even if none of the impacts resulted in a concussion, researchers at the IU School of Medicine and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College found.

Ambassador named founding dean. Ambassador Lee A. Feinstein was appointed founding dean of IU's School of Global and International Studies. The U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Poland from 2009 to 2012, he has served two secretaries of state and a secretary of defense and has worked at the nation’s top research institutes, including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution. IU broke ground for the school earlier in the year, an event that included a keynote address by U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind, and remarks via video from Vice President Joe Biden.

Grammy nominations. Long-vanished voices and sounds resurrected through technology by Indiana University sound media historian Patrick Feaster and a Latin jazz album by IU Jacobs School of Music professor Wayne Wallace's quintet both drew 2014 Grammy nominations.

Pressler celebrates 90. Distinguished Professor Menahem Pressler received the University Medal at a gala concert held in honor of the renowned pianist's 90th birthday. He also received a congratulatory letter from President Obama, was honored on classical radio show "Performance Today" and was the first recipient of an award for extraordinary service to chamber music from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

High-jumper scores big. Olympic medalist and five-time NCAA champion Derek Drouin was selected as the winner of the 2013 Bowerman Trophy, the highest honor given to the most outstanding male and female student-athletes in collegiate track and field. Drouin's list of accolades is long and impressive: U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's Indoor and Outdoor National Field Athlete of the Year; Jesse Owens Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year; two bronze medals, one from the 2012 London Olympics and one at the 2013 World Championships; a seven-time All-American; and the first athlete in NCAA history to win five NCAA titles in the high jump.

Assembly Hall rendering

Assembly Hall rendering

Gift to renovate, rename Assembly Hall. A $40 million gift from IU alumna Cindy Simon Skjodt will provide much-needed renovations to Assembly Hall and launch a $150 capital campaign for IU Athletics. In honor of Skjodt's gift, the largest in athletics history, IU will rename the facility Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

How do my genes look? Pioneering research led by Indiana University has identified genes from a number of plant species, including the entire mitochondrial genomes from three green algae and one moss, in the mitochondrial genome of Amborella trichopoda. The discovery is believed to be the largest example of horizontal gene transfer -- the acquisition of foreign genes from other species -- in any organism.