The University of Indianapolis and the office of U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar recently announced the formation of a center dedicated to inspiring and developing new generations of leaders for Indiana, the nation and the world.

The Richard G. Lugar Center for Tomorrow's Leaders will build on the principles of the annual Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders, a one-day event that gathers Indiana's top high school juniors for expert-led discussions on public issues and world events. The university has hosted the symposium since it was founded in 1977.

The new center will be a permanent home for the annual symposium and will provide extended experiences for high school and college students that expose them to leadership opportunities, the value of leadership in service to others, issues of ethics and integrity in leadership and the qualities of strong leaders. Building on the university's core values, the center will reinforce the value of a liberal arts education in preparing young people to be tomorrow's leaders.

"We started the Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders during my first year in the Senate, and the University of Indianapolis has been an extraordinary partner for the past 30 years," Lugar said. "More than 15,000 young Hoosiers have come to this campus for the symposium to debate, learn and expand their thoughts and horizons about how to lead Indiana's future. I am deeply honored by the permanent establishment of the Richard G. Lugar Center for Tomorrow's Leaders and excited about the possibilities for public service and leadership in our state that will be inspired in new generations of Hoosiers."

The center will have a director and a nonpartisan external advisory committee.

"We in the UIndy community are delighted to be building on our long and treasured relationship with Senator Lugar," university President Beverley J. Pitts said. "The qualities he represents - leadership, community service, integrity, ethics and global perspective - reflect the values we try to instill in our students."

Extending the goals of the Lugar symposium, the center will develop:

  • Leadership academies for high school students at their schools and on the UIndy campus, with instruction by university faculty. UIndy already offers such academies in economics and finance.

  • Program enhancements for high schools that expose students to models of civic leadership.

  • A weekend retreat for high school students focused on the attributes of the Rhodes Scholarship, which Lugar himself was awarded as a student in the 1950s.

  • Annual recognition of an Indiana high school student who exemplifies leadership in public service.

Lugar is a Distinguished Trustee of the United Methodist-related University of Indianapolis, having served on the board from 1970 to 2002. He was awarded an honorary degree in 1970 and taught political science as a visiting professor in 1976, between his last term as mayor of Indianapolis and his first term as a senator. He is a member of St. Luke's UMC in Indianapolis.