Indiana State University Newsroom

In annual Fall Address, ISU President says whole campus will ‘Be So Bold’

September 21, 2022

Indiana State University President Dr. Deborah J Curtis said Wednesday during her annual Fall Address to campus that the spirit behind the recently announced “Be So Bold” fundraising campaign extends well beyond raising money.

“It is important to realize that ‘Be So Bold’ is more than just a campaign theme,” Curtis said. “It is the way our university is launching into the next few years.”

The speech at University Hall in the Bayh College of Education outlined numerous achievements in grants, partnerships, and other ways the university serves its students, the community, and the state.

Curtis acknowledged challenges in demographics and college-going rates but said the university is meeting those challenges, starting with the Indiana State Advantage program.

The program guarantees free tuition for all Indiana residents who are Pell-eligible after their aid is applied, and have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0. It also guarantees students in most programs, who stay on track, will graduate on-time in four years or the additional tuition is free.

The Indiana State Advantage also offers students a one-time grant of up to $3,000 to participate in a high-impact, out-of-classroom experience such as a research program, an internship, or a study abroad opportunity. That, Curtis said, is unusual for an institution of ISU’s size.

“These initiatives began with this year’s fall class of freshmen,” Curtis said. “They are clearly working as evidenced by the growth we are experiencing in several key areas.”

Curtis noted that during the pandemic, ISU graduated several large classes — more than 6,500 students since Spring 2020.

She discussed ISU’s Lilly Endowment grants of $9.8 million to improve retention and graduation rates of minority and low-income students, and to expand summer camp opportunities for pre-college age students to study STEAM subjects such as engineering and the arts.

She talked about ISU’s partnership with GEODIS, a world leader in transport and logistics, for space at the Made @ Plainfield facility called Logistics 4.0 Innovation Hub. It will be used to train individuals in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the management of logistics companies.

Curtis discussed the Be So Bold fundraising campaign kickoff, which, in the “quiet phase,” raised 62% of its $100-million goal. Last Friday night’s kickoff started the “public phase.”

“Please consider joining our colleagues, our alumni and our friends in being so bold to believe in the transformational impact an Indiana State education can have on a student’s life,” Curtis said. “Many of you can tell that story yourselves. I know I certainly can.

“All of you are an integral part of making Indiana State what it is. More than anything, I hope that we can all boldly declare our pride in this great university and the mission it serves each and every day.”

Others spoke on behalf of the university’s governance units: in order, Jacob Shaw for the Student Government Association, Morgan Leek for the Staff Council, and Dr. James Gustafson for the Faculty Senate, and Kathy Cabello for the Board of Trustees.

A “Be So Bold” campaign video played before Curtis’s closing remarks.

“In this higher ed climate, the journey will test our commitment, but we will prosper,” she said. “Let’s grab ahold of the bright future that lays ahead for us if we are only ready to go get it. Now’s the time to lean in and work our plan.  I am honored to work beside you as we deliver on our mission to educate and graduate more Sycamores for now and into the future.”

Media contacts: 

Mark Alesia, Director of University Communication 

(O) 812-237-3837 

(C) 812-229-8020

Dianne Powell, Associate Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-8764

(C) 812-878-2131