KOKOMO, Ind. —Indiana University Kokomo was honored as the Public Institution of the Year Thursday (November 2) by the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce.
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke accepted the award on behalf of the campus at the 103rd Celebration of Commerce & Community, hosted by the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce. She commended the faculty and staff who are dedicated to the mission of helping students achieve their goals.
“Every day I’m honored to go to work with an amazing team of people, who lead from where they are,” she said. “They know that college education is fulfilling someone’s dream.”
The award recognizes a public firm that is “creating an impact through leadership and successful achievements in their chosen field, and community initiatives that others strive to replicate,” according to Chamber officials. It was one of 10 awards given during the event, attended by more than 350 people at Bel Air Events.
Marla Miller, chamber membership development coordinator, noted that IU Kokomo’s fall 2017 freshman class was the largest, most diverse, and academically talented in its 72-year history, and that the campus set enrollment records.
“IU Kokomo faculty and staff continually find new ways to engage students,” she said, specifically mentioning the Kokomo Experience and You (KEY) program, for giving students opportunities to travel, conduct research and collaborate with peers and faculty, and the growth of the athletic program to 12 teams, while giving student-athletes opportunities to succeed in the classroom and on the court.
Sciame-Giesecke said she is “blessed every day” to be part of the work of raising the educational attainment of the region.
“We are pledging that we will continue to grow this campus, and believe it or not, it’s going to be much bigger and better,” she said.
Sciame-Giesecke also was recognized for her service as chair of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance board, as she ends her two-year term at the end of 2017.
She is thankful for the opportunity to have led the Alliance board, and encouraged those attending to get involved as a volunteer.
“I would venture to guess that there are many communities that would love to have such a collaborative spirit among their community leadership,” she said. “What I have witnessed is a group of people who are leading from where they are. They are taking on the responsibility to build a great community in the roles they play.
“I have been so impressed with the passion and the love for our community that is shown in our meetings,” she said.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.