Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Second Annual Roberts Circle Award for Mission Stewardship

Dear UIndy Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

The Second Annual Roberts Circle Award for Mission Stewardship, which the Office of University Mission presented to the Student Development Staff earlier today. The Roberts Circle recognition celebrates the work of a group of UIndy employees who have made a sustained contribution to carrying out the University’s mission over a specific period of time. In this case, the period is over the past six years: 2014-2020. On the last two pages of the commemorative booklet, you will find the text of the award citation, including this excerpt:

It is this focused attention on the needs of individual students that distinguishes the work of the Student Development staff. Debbie Spinney and her colleagues take students on a journey much like what happens in “The Wizard of Oz.” The student who is traveling through a strange and mysterious land, one that she’s never seen before. She gradually gains perspective through a variety of trials and tribulations, gaining friends and navigating obstacles along the way. In the process, the students discover “there’s no place like UIndy.” They discover that UIndy’s campus and community provides a stable environment for honing the skills necessary for success in the academic arena. Personal growth often occurs as the student discovers his or her own resources for lifelong learning. Effective orientation to academic endeavors makes it possible for students to achieve success in the ways that are appropriate to their respective objectives.

The Roberts Circle symbolizes the work that faculty and staff employees do in every generation. As we look back at the work of Alva Button Roberts and her husband Pres. John T. Roberts, Prof. John A. Cummins and trustee Samuel Wertz, we see perseverance amid hard-won achievements. And even in the earliest years, students Irby J. Good ‘08 and Flossie Marchand ’11 contributed in significant ways. Indeed, even in the first decade we can see the reception of missional responsibility, the exercise of remarkable stewardship, and intentionality in handing on the tasks by members of the Roberts Circle.

Please congratulate our colleagues in the Student Development Staff for their contributions to the University’s mission over the past six years. On pp. 6-7 of the linked booklet, you will find a list of the kinds of things that these colleagues have been doing. We know that they are not the only employees who are doing good work at UIndy. We also know that the work Debbie Spinney et al. have done over the past six years helps to bring into more precise focus what stewardship of institutional mission looks like for the rest of us.


Roberts Circle Award for Mission Stewardship Booklet


We anticipate that the next group of Robert Circle recipients will be recognized in January 2022. If you know of other employee groups who are making an important contribution to the university’s mission, please mention your observations to Michael G. Cartwright or, if you prefer, please feel free to talk with one of the persons who serve on the Advisory Council for the Office of University Mission: Erin Farrell, Samantha Gray, Carrie Sorensen, Andrea Newsom, Laura Merrifield Wilson, and Jim Williams. The advisory council reviews possible honorees, which is processed with senior administration leaders before making a final decision. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Michael G. Cartwright.