Fairbanks Symposium brings former HUD Secretary Julian Castro to “City of Homes” event at the University of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – The 2018 Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership: “A City of Homes” highlights the critical role housing has played in shaping the development of Indianapolis and the important housing challenges facing cities as they prepare for the future.

Julian Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former mayor of San Antonio, will lead a conversation about the impact of housing on urban growth with Carolyn Coleman, executive director of the League of California Cities and former deputy mayor of Indianapolis. Coleman also serves on the University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees. Castro served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017 and as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have two national experts here to help us make sense of this profound problem facing communities everywhere. Both Julian Castro and Carolyn Coleman bring a wealth of experience in leadership at the municipal and national levels,” said Ted Frantz, professor of history and director of the University’s Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives.

The symposium will be held 8 a.m., Friday, March 2, in the Schwitzer Student Center at the University of Indianapolis. Registration is required for this free event, presented by the University of Indianapolis, Indiana Humanities and Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP), and generously supported by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

See event photos.

The symposium tackles the major housing issues facing Indianapolis, such as improving access to affordable housing, its relationship to employment and the role of transportation when calculating the cost of living. In this context, the symposium explores Indianapolis’ reputation as a “city of homes” and how that presents unique challenges to the city’s growth.

“More than 28 percent of Marion County households are housing-cost burdened, a contributing factor to the sustainability of our neighborhoods,” said Moira Carlstedt, president and CEO of INHP. “We are eager to participate in this important dialogue alongside Mr. Castro and former Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Carolyn Coleman to share how INHP, in partnership with the community, is addressing this issue, both in the creation of more affordable housing opportunities in Indianapolis and preparing homebuyers for a long-term, successful investment.”

Since its inception in 2013, the Fairbanks symposium has facilitated conversation about important civic issues, including the role of sports strategies to provide growth and civic engagement, the role of green space in urban development as well as the politics of civility. The event pairs local and national experts to explore and define important issues affecting cities today and in the future.

“Each year, the Fairbanks Symposium is an opportunity to discuss the importance of visionary civic leadership in driving Indianapolis forward,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We look forward to Secretary Castro’s observations on the role of affordable housing in creating a great quality of life in the Circle City.”

About the University of Indianapolis
The University of Indianapolis, founded in 1902, is a private, liberal arts university located just a few minutes from downtown Indianapolis. UIndy is ranked among the top Midwest Universities by the U.S. News and World Report, with a diverse enrollment of more than 5,500 undergraduates, 1,300 graduate students and 400 continuing education students. The University offers a wide variety of study areas, including 100 undergraduate degrees, more than 35 master’s degree programs and five doctoral programs. With strong programs in the health sciences, engineering, business and education, UIndy impacts its community by living its motto, “Education for Service.” www.uindy.edu.

About Indiana Humanities
Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. Learn more at www.indianahumanities.org.

About Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership
The Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) increases affordable and sustainable housing opportunities for individuals and families in Marion County, and serves as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. INHP enables families to become and remain long-term, successful homeowners through homebuyer education, mortgage and credit advising and lending services. INHP also provides thought leadership, technical assistance, financial support and programming to community partners dedicated to neighborhood revitalization. For more information, visit INHP.org.

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush to deliver inaugural PLSA Lecture at the University of Indianapolis

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush will be the featured speaker on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, for the inaugural lecture in the Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA) Judicial Lecture Series.

The event is scheduled from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.

Chief Justice Rush is the first guest featured in the PLSA Judicial Lecture Series, established by the Pre-Law Student Association, which benefits students interested in law and government and offers the University community a venue to learn more about Indiana state government.  Chief Justice Rush’s lecture will focus on the importance that University of Indianapolis students will play in shaping Indiana’s future in the coming years, in particular those looking to enter the legal field.

“There were 1.3 million cases filed in Indiana trial courts last year. The cases range from foreclosure to family violence to the drug crisis and much more,” Chief Justice Rush said. “UIndy pre-law students should consider their role as future leaders to help meet challenges facing our communities. We need thoughtful and compassionate lawyers to ensure we continue to deliver justice in every courthouse across the state.”

Dr. David Root, assistant professor of political science and PLSA and pre-law advisor, worked with PLSA Executive Board Members to coordinate the event.

“We are very excited about Chief Justice Rush’s talk,” Dr. Root said, “and look forward to hearing the state’s top judicial officer share her thoughts on how UIndy pre-law students, and students in general, can work to impress their footprints on the future.”

Jason Marshall ‘17 (political science with pre-law minor) is the first and previous president of the Pre-Law Student Association, which prepares future leaders in the legal field. He will begin his studies at Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Fall 2018 and said the lecture series is the start of a new tradition on campus.

“The PLSA Judicial Lecture Series, beginning with the Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, is another step in ensuring students are being offered the best knowledge in the field and the most up-to-date information on what is happening in our legal environment,” Marshall said.

Calleigh Smith ‘19 (political science with minors in pre-law and Spanish) is the current president of the Pre-Law Student Association and appreciates what it means to the University of Indianapolis and the PLSA to have the most important figure of Indiana law visit and speak on campus.

“We are thrilled to have Chief Justice Rush come and speak at UIndy,” Smith said. “It signals to us as UIndy students and pre-law students the critical leadership positions we will fulfill in the future, both as lawyers and community leaders around the state and everywhere Greyhounds go.”

The PLSA Lecture is open to all University of Indianapolis students, faculty, and staff.  Contact Dr. Root at rootd@uindy.edu for details.

Mark this event on your calendar.

Local Rev. Rob Fuquay and Grammy-winning musician Bela Fleck to receive honorary degrees

Dear Campus Community,

Although we have just begun our term, the University already is looking forward to recognizing inspiring leaders through honorary degrees at our May Commencement ceremony. Our honorary degrees are awarded to individuals who are innovators, leaders in their crafts and who embody the mission of our University. This year, I am pleased to announce that we will continue this storied tradition by awarding degrees that celebrate our United Methodist Church heritage and our commitment to arts and culture.

Rob Fuquay

Rev. Rob Fuquay

The University Committee on Honorary Degrees this year selected two worthy recipients. We will honor Rev. Rob Fuquay, who serves as the senior pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church – one of Indianapolis’ largest congregations with more than 6,000 members. We also will honor Béla Fleck, a 16-time Grammy Award winner commonly described as the world’s best banjo player. Both individuals have spent their careers carving new paths and inspiring others with their talents.

Rev. Fuquay is considered a leader in spiritual thought and guidance and has authored several books and course guides on religious topics. As the fifth senior pastor appointed at St. Luke’s, he holds a strong position of influence and leadership in the UMC. He regularly shares his vision of bringing religion and inspiration to the entire community, not just his congregation. Throughout his career, Fuquay has served various congregations with his gifts of strong preaching, leadership development and visioning. Fuquay, who will deliver the keynote address at Commencement, has lived in Indianapolis since 2011 with his wife and three daughters.

The University of Indianapolis traces its roots in the United Methodist Church (UMC) back to its founding in 1902. The United Brethren of Christ first purchased 8 acres of property in the heart of the University Heights neighborhood to establish a college. Indiana Central University opened its doors upon the completion of Good Hall, and the University tradition of academic excellence officially began. The institution became Indiana Central College in 1921. By the late 1960s, the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist churches merged, and the University of Indianapolis (officially named in 1986) has been part of the UMC since. The University continues to welcome diverse students, faculty and staff to campus, just as Fuquay supports the UMC mission as a welcoming church for all.

Equally important in the University’s growth as a top-tier liberal arts institution is the long, successful history of excellence in music and the arts. The tradition of cultural impact in the city and region cannot be overstated. It is a proud story of growth and partnership, both with the surrounding arts community and the University Heights neighborhood. The campus is home to one of the best performance facilities in the area, the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. Behind this rise to prominence is the University’s history of embracing all forms of music and art and inspiring students to pursue their unique interests.

Béla Fleck (photo courtesy Jim McGuire)

Béla Fleck (photo courtesy Jim McGuire)

Béla Fleck continues this tradition by building his career through many diverse influences in all genres of music. He pairs the traditional banjo sounds of bluegrass and country with the improvisational freedoms of jazz and the more modern jam-band movement. He has played all over the globe and collaborated with artists such as Sam Bush, Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis, Victor Wooten, Dave Matthews and many more. The result of these influences is a unique sound and brand of music: his music.

He is lauded as both a solo artist and as part of successful groups such as New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Throughout his career, Fleck has reinvented the image and sound of the banjo. Fleck has the honor of being nominated in more Grammy categories than any other musician, a testament to his love of music and courage to continually push the musical envelope. His music denies definition and embodies the possibilities of true artistic expression–something held sacred at the University of Indianapolis. Fleck will perform a song on the banjo at the May 5 Commencement.

Commencement provides the University community an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and achievements of graduates and the passionate staff and faculty who helped them reach this milestone. I look forward to celebrating this year with our entire community and to welcoming Rev. Rob Fuquay and Mr. Béla Fleck to campus.


President Rob Manuel

Business students lead the way for Straight Answer Saturday Feb. 10

INDIANAPOLIS – The Student Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) at the University of Indianapolis is spearheading a community event designed to help Indianapolis residents with free legal and financial questions.

sasStraight Answer Saturday, held in the Schwitzer Student Center on the University of Indianapolis campus from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Feb. 10, 2018, is a free event that allows the general public to meet with attorneys and financial planners in one-on-one consultations. Professionals can answer questions about wills, power of attorney, saving for retirement, debt, taxes and more. Pre-register here.

The University has partnered with  the Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s Office, the Indiana State Bar Association and the Financial Planners Association of Greater Indiana to host the event. Representatives from the following agencies will also be available: Social Security Administration, Indiana Better Business Bureau, Indiana Legal Services, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Senior Medicare Patrol, AARP, Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center, CollegeChoice 529 and Indiana Department of Child Services.

“No judgment. No sales pitches. Just straight answers. That’s our goal for Straight Answer Saturday,” said Lawson. “My office created this event to ensure the citizens of Indiana can get legal and financial help in a stress-free environment, free of charge.”

Alex Yurack

Alex Yurack

As project manager for Straight Answer Saturday, SBLA Vice President Alex Yurack ’20 (finance) has gained valuable professional skills. Yurack was responsible for room set-up, food, security, parking and managing a large group of freshman business students to volunteer at the event.

“SBLA has been great for me because I have matured and grown comfortable in a business environment. Learning how to conduct myself in a business professional while I am still in college is a great thing. It’s better to learn that now than to start once I have graduated,” Yurack said.

Learn more about UIndy School of Business programs.

Kelly Griese, senior investor education coordinator for the Indiana Secretary of State, said the University has provided much more than a venue for Straight Answer Saturday.

“The School of Business brings so much more to the table. SBLA members are young professionals, and their work is exceptional. I can’t say enough great things about UIndy’s support of Straight Answer Saturday and how professional and driven these students are,” Griese said.

Matt Will, professor of finance, acts as an advisor to the SBLA. He emphasized the benefits for students as they gain real-life experience in event planning and project management, as well as providing Indianapolis residents with access to free professional advice.

“We do this in part because it is education for service. It’s for the community around the university and all over the city. It’s also a great networking opportunity for our students to meet FPA or Bar Association members,” Will said.

Shelby Winner

Shelby Winner

Mentorship is a key part of the process, from faculty and industry professionals to fellow students. SBLA President Shelby Winner ’19 (accounting), ’20 (MBA) guided Yurack through the planning process. She appreciates the guidance she received from faculty.

“Dr. Will has been a great mentor through this program. He truly wants what is best for his students, and through SBLA he has given his students the opportunity to learn how to be successful through real-life experiences,” Winner said.


UIndy students provide hurricane relief in Texas

Before the spring semester even got started, a group of University of Indianapolis students and staff from the University of Indianapolis boarded a bus for Texas on a mission to provide hurricane relief. Hurricane Harvey has been out of the headlines for months, but the devastation from record flooding remains.

Nearly two-dozen students traveled to the Orange, Texas area cleaning up damaged homes and removing drywall, sheetrock and insulation. Jonathan Yorkowitz, associate dean of students, said the trip is a continuation of the strong campus response to last fall’s hurricane season.

“The staff wanted to continue to do more, because it’s not just the immediate impact, but the long-term impact disaster has on individuals, families, and communities for years to come,” Yorkowitz said.

The group of 23 students and two staff worked with United Methodist Relief on clean-up and restoration of homes impacted by flooding. The group, donning goggles, hard hats and face masks, tore down walls, insulation and removed appliances.

Win Yee ’21 (marketing) said the work was physically challenging but satisfying.

“It was exhausting, but what is my exhaustion compared to the tragedies the victims of Hurricane Harvey went through?” Yee said.

For Esther Mullins ’21(medical laboratory science), the hard work paid off in terms of new friendships and memories.

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve in affiliation with our school. We met some incredible and inspiring people in Texas. The owners of the homes we were working in basically lost everything due to the water damage, and it was an incredible experience to be able to serve them,” Mullins said.

Students were selected for the trip through an application process.

“The University of Indianapolis is about ‘Education for Service’ and this work exemplifies that desire. With that in mind, we asked students if they would be interested in participating in a service trip and received an overwhelming response,” Yorkowitz explained.

Shortly after Harvey struck, the Division of Student and Campus Affairs worked with through the office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Programs to partner with UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and gather donations of much-needed toiletries for those who were impacted. A fundraising drive also was established to send monetary donations to the Houston (Texas) Food Bank to purchase supplies. Additionally, a blood drive was organized to help restock blood supplies at the Indiana Blood Center after many units of blood were contributed to the victims in Texas.

Emily Sands ’18 (Finance major, Spanish minor) has participated in several service-learning events including the trip to Texas, UIndy Day of Service, Super Saturday of Service and is involved in the UIndy Lilly Scholars Network at Wheeler Mission Ministry facilities. With plans to do service work in Guatemala after graduation, Sands appreciates the opportunities she’s had at UIndy to give back.

“There are constantly ways to volunteer and hands-on classroom experiences are often times offered through non-profit partnerships. There is even a concentration in service learning. I have grown to love the motto, ‘Education for Service’ because it inspires me to humble myself and consider how God can use my gifts and education to meet the needs of the world,” Sands said.


Campus collaborations: Power of Education conference

The University of Indianapolis Student Education Association will host the fourth annual Power of Education conference on campus Saturday, February 3.

The event is open to education students throughout the state. Topics of discussion are designed to motivate and inspire future K-12 teachers and provide professional development opportunities for attendees.


Eslinger teaches second graders at Reagan Elementary.

Conner McNeeley, a Southport High School Spanish teacher and recipient of the 2017 Teach Like A Champion Award, will deliver the keynote speech. During three sets of breakout sessions, University faculty and industry experts will share strategies for increasing student engagement and producing positive results in the classroom.

“This conference was designed for students, by students,” said Lyndsy Eslinger ‘18 (elementary education), co-chair of the Power of Education planning committee. “As we were planning the event, we thought about what topics we enjoy hearing about.”

Sessions will include:

  • “Engagement through Coding” with John Somers, associate professor of teacher education
  • “Creating Your Own Success” with Brittany Dyer, career navigator at the Professional Edge Center
  • “Dreams and Dreamers” with Donna Stephenson, University instructor of teacher education
  • “Encouraging Student Thinking And Engagement through Effective Questioning” with Deb Sachs, director of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Program

The event is geared toward both elementary and secondary education majors.

“This conference is full of amazing professional development opportunities,” said Shelby Johnson, ‘18 (elementary education), Vice President of the University Student Education Association. “I feel confident that I will be ready for the real world after graduation because of the professional development, interview preparation, and networking that UIndy has given me.”

Power of Education
8:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, February 3
Schwitzer Student Center

Registration is open until the day of the event, and cost ranges from $5 – $15. Learn more and register here.

Conference proceeds will be used to support the UIndy Student Education Association and Outreach to Teach. Outreach to Teach is an annual project that focuses on transforming a local K-12 school through painting, cleaning, landscaping, decorating, and light carpentry.

University of Indianapolis announces 2018 Black History Month events

blackhistory17The University of Indianapolis celebrates Black History Month with a full calendar of events during February 2018, including a trivia night, an Open Mic Dialog and a formal dinner. Organized by the Black Student Association, events throughout the month are designed to increase awareness of the  achievements of African-Americans and their pivotal role in United States history.

A new addition this year to the robust line-up is the collaboration between BSA and the Office of Equity & Inclusion (OEI) for Feb. 15th’s Open Mic Dialog on healthy relationships. Plans are in the works to involve several student organizations in programming for that event, said Darin Sills ’19 (visual communication design), president of the Black Student Association.

“This is a great opportunity to partner with the Black Student Association and other student groups to spark conversation about what it means to be in a healthy relationship,” said Sean Huddleston, vice president of equity and inclusion. He noted the growing interest in OEI’s Open Mic Dialog sessions, which were launched in the fall of 2017.

Recording artist, TEDx and motivational speaker Shaun Boothe will be guest speaker at the Black History Month Dinner: “A Legacy of Excellence” on Feb. 28th. Boothe is the creator of the critically acclaimed “The Unauthorized Biography Series” which celebrates historical figures through biographical rap songs.

Sills encouraged the campus community to participate in Black History Month events regardless of ethnic background or identity.

“Events that we organize aren’t just for a strictly African-American audience. We want everyone to come to all events,” Sills said.

Schedule of events:

Jan. 31/Feb. 1: Stop by the BSA table in the Schwitzer Student Center to answer Black History Month trivia questions and pick up a sweet treat!

Feb. 2: Celebrating Black History Month: Heroes
6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Garfield Park Arts Center

Feb. 5: David Otunga (Diversity Lecture Series)
9:00 p.m., UIndy Hall

Feb. 7: BSA general body meeting
9:00 p.m., UIndy Hall A

Feb. 8: Praise and worship
9:00 p.m., The Chapel

Feb. 14: Anti-Valentine’s Day
9:00 p.m., Trustees Room

Feb. 15: Love and Hip Hop UIndy (open mic dialog with Office of Equity & Inclusion)
9:00 p.m., UIndy Hall A

Feb. 21: Black History trivia
9:00 p.m. Shreve Atrium, Student Engagement Center

Feb. 24: Black Panther film screening
Location to be announced

Feb. 27: Neil Holborn – Spoken word artist
9:00 p.m., UIndy Hall A

Feb. 28: Black History Month Dinner: “A Legacy of Excellence” with speaker Shaun Boothe
7:00 p.m., UIndy Hall A


Indiana legislature honors undefeated Greyhounds Football team

The University of Indianapolis Greyhounds Football team was honored on the floor of the Indiana Statehouse on Thursday, celebrating an undefeated and record-breaking regular season.

Fans across the city and region got behind the Greyhounds in 2017 as they pursued a perfect 11-0 regular season. Despite a loss in the first round of the playoffs to Harding University, the program’s success — as well as that of other sports in 2017– helped to solidify University of Indianapolis athletics as one of the elite programs in Division II.

“Our athletics programs continue to succeed because our coaches, staff and the families of our student athletes create an exceptional environment for students to excel, both on and off the field. This undefeated season is another chapter in the growth of our athletic programs and the excitement they add to the UIndy campus experience,” said University President Robert Manuel.

Student athletes at the University earned a cumulative GPA of 3.26 last semester–a testament to how hard they work to achieve athletic and academic goals, Manuel added.

Indiana Rep. Jack Sandlin (R-Indianapolis) ‘78, ‘94 facilitated the recognition Thursday by the Indiana Legislature. Representing the football team were captains Jake Purichia, Andrew Walker, Aeneas White and Ruben Holcomb, along with coaches and athletics administrators.

“Coming downtown and being in this building to get recognized was special,” Purichia said. “I’m proud of our coaches, staff and players for what we’ve accomplished.”

“It was a huge honor getting recognized for the great season we had,” Holcomb added. “It was my last season so going out in such a successful way means a lot.”

The 2017 season was the first undefeated regular season since 1953. The team also set new records for the most wins in a season (11), consecutive wins (15) and scoring offense (38.2 ppg). The Greyhounds matched team and Great Lakes Valley Conference marks for fewest interceptions thrown (4) and garnered a conference record 14 GLVC Player of the Week awards, while leading the nation in the fewest sacks allowed (0.5 per game).

The Hounds spent a total of eight consecutive weeks in the Top 10, peaking at a program high No. 5 as they went on to capture their fifth GLVC title in six years.

The football success was just one of many accolades enjoyed by UIndy sports teams in 2017. Greyhounds earned the sixth consecutive GLVC All-Sports Trophy, presented annually to the university demonstrating the best all around performance in the league’s 20 sponsored sports. Other team achievements in 2017 include:

  • Men’s soccer were named GLVC Conference Champions.
  • Women’s Golf broke individual, team and conference records on the way to earning the fourth-consecutive top-five finish in the NCAA tournament.
  • Women’s tennis student-athletes Hanna Volikova and Alina Kislitskaya won the first ITA national doubles championship in program history.
  • Men’s and Women’s Diving currently are ranked in the Top 10 in Division II programs.
  • 253 Greyhound student-athletes were named to the GLVC All-Academic team.

“Our athletics success continues to produce benefits in recruitment and retention of students,” said Sue Willey, vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics at the University. “Being honored at the statehouse raises the profile of the team and the University as a whole. It’s a great honor and another positive development for the program that will motivate our student athletes and teams to continue their success.

Football Coach Bob Bartolomeo, who brought back 17 seniors this year, said the undefeated season was special because it has happened only twice since the program began.

“When you look at all the divisions and schools playing college football, it’s extremely difficult and takes a lot of work and effort to accomplish an undefeated season. That’s something we’re quite proud of,” said Bartolomeo, who also was named GLVC Coach of the Year.

Willey said she is excited about the future of the programs and their impact on the growth of the University.

University hosts 50th annual regional theatre festival

About 1,400 theatre enthusiasts from Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin gathered at the University of Indianapolis recently for the 50th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF).

The Department of Theatre hosted the week-long festival for Region III in January 2018. It was one of eight regional events across the country.

The festival included theatrical performances, workshops, scholarship competitions for acting, design and stage management students, along with professional networking opportunities.

“It’s a lot of fun to be immersed in theatre for a week,” said Penny Sornberger, associate professor of costume design. “It opens up opportunities for our students to meet fellow students from other schools, form new bonds, network with professionals in the field and get feedback on their work.”

About 30 University theatre students volunteered for and competed in the festival. *See a complete list of student competitors below.

Notable achievements included:

  • Carly Wagers ‘20 was a semifinalist in the Regional Design Projects Competition, ranking in the top 10 percent of 200 entries.
  • Zech Saenz ’19 won the Design Storm Competition for directing “The Most Wretched Deathbed Fever Dreams of Edgar Allan Poe.”
  • Daisy Grey ‘19 (director) and Jade Lynch ‘19 (sound design) were runners-up for their work on “La Boheme.”

Six theatre faculty members were instrumental in organizing activities: Penny Sornberger, Brad Wright, James Leagre, Casey Kearns, Christian McKinney and Jodi Bush.

During the festival, University Production Manager Christian McKinney received the Region III Faculty Service Award. Peers throughout Region III voted, selecting McKinney as the winner for her expertise in planning the event.

“It’s great to be recognized for all the hard work that went into this festival,” McKinney said. “The reason we do this is for the students. The experiences they gain and the contacts they make at this festival will help them far beyond their time here at UIndy.”  

Festival organizers persevered despite severe winter weather that threatened to interrupt scheduled events.

“We feel the festival was very successful, even with all the weather issues,” Sornberger said. “The show must go on. We’re theatre folks; that’s what we do!”


Congratulations to all University theatre students who competed:


Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions:  

     Stephen Cox ‘18 & partner Carly Wagers ’20

     Mary Schreier ‘19 & partner Thomas Tutsie ’20

     Katie Carter ’20 & partner Clayton Rardon ’21

     Zech Saenz ’19 & partner Kelly Casey ’19


National KCACTF Awards for Theatrical Design Excellence Competition   

    Jade Lynch ‘19;  Sound Design for “Frankenstein”


National KCACTF Allied Design and Technology Award Competition

     Liesel Schmitz ‘20;  Creature Arm design for “Frankenstein”

     Pat Kizer ‘19;  Special Effects Makeup for “Frankenstein”


10-minute Play Festival

     Stephen Cox ‘18 Director; “Little Debbie”


Regional Design Projects Competition

     Emily Hart ‘19;  Costume Designs; “Eurydice”

     Carly Wagers ‘20; Costume Designs; “La Boheme”


Design Storm Competition

     Pat Kizer ’19; Make up Designer; “Eurydice”

     Kristine Storms ‘18; Costume Designs; “His Dark Materials”

     Daisy Grey ‘19; Director; “La Boheme”

     Jade Lynch ‘19; Sound Design; “La Boheme”

     Elizabeth Hollbrook ’18; Director; “Henry V”

     Emma Rund ‘20 ; Dramaturgy; “Henry V”

     Emily Hart ’19; Costume Designs; “Henry V”

     Zech Saenz ’19; Director; “The Most Wretched Deathbed Fever Dreams of Edgar Allan Poe”

University of Indianapolis launches leadership program for high school sophomores

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis is launching a leadership development program for Indiana high school sophomores next month with a statewide discussion that will bring together more than 275 high school sophomores from around the region with interests in technology, business, environment and sports.

The event, “Embracing the Future,” hosted by University of Indianapolis Visiting Fellow and former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, will promote leadership skills by encouraging students to embrace change in a positive way; and is one of series of initiatives throughout the year designed to prepare the next generation of Indiana’s leaders. Students who attend will have been nominated by their high schools.

“Learning to deal with change and not being afraid of failure are essential leadership qualities that are crucial to successful careers and lives,” Ballard said. “This event is designed to raise awareness of these issues as students consider potential careers and the impact they want to have on the world.”

The sessions focus on influential leaders from a variety of local industries. Topics include the “Future of Sports,” “Innovation,” “Fail Fest: Celebrating Failure’s Role in Innovation” and “Oil and National Security.”

In addition to “Embracing the Future,” University initiatives such as the Lugar Academy encourage high school students to pursue skills in leadership and service. Retired Sen. Richard Lugar, who has hosted the Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders on campus for more than 40 years, works with students to identify the most pressing current events and political issues of our time.

Ballard, the former two-term Republican mayor of Indianapolis,  now serves as a Visiting Fellow for the Institute for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives at the University of Indianapolis. He mentors students and creates programming to help them develop leadership and civic management skills.

The goal of the Institute is to connect the community with Indianapolis’ civic history by working closely with previous mayors and their staffs to collect and preserve photos, documents and other resources that were critical in establishing Indianapolis as a world-class city. The Mayoral Archives are available digitally at uindy.historyit.com. The Institute hosts the annual Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership each year at the University, at which civic leaders and community builders examine a topic important to the future growth of the city.

Nomination details

Teachers and administrators are encouraged to nominate three outstanding sophomore students from their respective high schools who have an interest in technology, business, sports or the environment. Click here to submit nominations. All successful nominees will be contacted in February.

Ballard will deliver a keynote address, and students may choose to attend two afternoon sessions that touch on topics important to their personal and professional futures. The “Embracing the Future” event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. , Saturday, March 3, in the Ransburg Auditorium of Esch Hall, 1400 E. Hanna Ave.

Learn more about the event.



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