KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo began a new Commencement tradition of honoring service to the campus, community, or state, awarding its inaugural Chancellor's Medallions Tuesday, May 7.
Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke presented the medallions to Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight and Kokomo-Center Schools Superintendent Jeff Hauswald, recognizing their partnership with the campus and their innovations that have improved the community.
"Both of these leaders have provided transformational service to their communities," she said. "Their impact is far-reaching, and will be seen for many years to come."
IU has a long tradition of awarding Chancellor's Medallions to those who provide exemplary service, but the Kokomo campus had never given one. Sciame-Giesecke decided the time was right, and worked with John O'Donnell, CEO of Kokomo Opalescent Glass, to design the award. It is created from crimson-colored glass, made in Kokomo and etched with an image of the campus Well House.
The first recipients worked with Sciame-Giesecke to provide IU Kokomo with a crucial missing piece — its own gymnasium. The gym will be in the former Kokomo-Center middle school swimming pool, which is currently being filled in for renovation. By August, it will be a college regulation-sized court, branded for IU Kokomo, where Cougar athletes can practice and play their games.
Sciame-Giesecke also commended Goodnight for establishing a trolley system, which provides free transportation through the city, and for aggressively adding walking and biking trails. She noted that Hauswald has transformed Kokomo-Center Schools from a good corporation into one that regularly has waiting lists of students who want to attend, for the international school curriculum, overseas travel opportunities, and integrated arts programs, among others.
Hauswald said the school and campus have also worked together to provide training for teachers, and to develop college-readiness math curriculum.
"I don't think people realize how blessed we are to have an Indiana University campus in Kokomo," he said. "We have a great partnership in this community, and as an IU graduate, I greatly appreciate and value it."
Goodnight was honored to receive the Chancellor's Medallion, and thanked his city council for making it possible for him to accept partnership opportunities.
"We are always ready to do what we can to help provide higher education in our community," he said.
John Applegate, IU Executive Vice President for University Regional Affairs, Planning, and Policy, praised the relationship built between the campus, city, and school.
"This is exactly what IU regional campuses are supposed to be about," he said "This is an example of what our campuses can do in the regions they serve."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.