Manuel with parents

UIndy President Robert Manuel talks with parents at a Vision 2030 session. The strategic planning process has gathered input from more than 1,600 students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff.

INDIANAPOLIS – As the University of Indianapolis prepares to inaugurate its ninth president, the UIndy community is taking stock of its history and charting a new course into the future.

Highlighting a week of related events, the inauguration of President Robert Manuel took place Thursday, March 21. At the afternoon investiture ceremony in Nicoson Hall gymnasium, Manuel addressed an audience that included the campus community, the general public, civic leaders and delegates from other universities. A reception followed in the university’s Schwitzer Student Center.

Earlier that day, Bishop Michael J. Coyner delivered the sermon for an inauguration worship service at University Heights United Methodist Church, located adjacent to the UM-related university.

This milestone in UIndy’s 111-year history comes as the university explores the results of Vision 2030, the strategic planning process Manuel launched shortly after his arrival last year. Task forces created to examine short-term issues are now preparing their final reports, and long-term themes are emerging from a series of visioning discussions and surveys that gathered input from more than 1,600 students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff.

Now, the university Planning Commission is starting to examine those recommendations and identify budget and fundraising priorities for the coming years, with a focus on enhancing the academic experience for students, enriching the campus culture and improving quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods. More information on Vision 2030 is available at

In another recent development, Manuel worked with U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar to develop UIndy’s new Lugar Academy, which will host a range of public policy and government-related events in Indianapolis and in Washington, D.C., as well as provide instruction and Washington internship opportunities to students from throughout Indiana and around the world. UIndy has opened an office in Washington to coordinate the internships, and Lugar is visiting classes and speaking on the Indianapolis campus several times each year as a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations.

Inauguration week has included a series of opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors and other friends of the university to participate. Events include service projects, a campus pep rally, a UIndy Family Day at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and a UIndy Night with the Indiana Pacers.

Also among those events were UIndy’s annual Showers Lectures, presented Tuesday, March 19, by alumnus Dr. Steve O’Malley, the J. T. Seamands Professor of Wesleyan Holiness History at Asbury Theological Seminary. In the first lecture, O’Malley offered a retrospective look at the religious roots of the university’s motto, “Education for Service.” His second lecture explored the importance of the university’s service ethic in the context of global Christian renewal movements. The Showers Lectures in the Christian Religion are made possible through the generosity of the late J. Balmer Showers, a bishop of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and former UIndy trustee. Showers established the annual lecture series with an endowment gift to the university shortly before his death in 1962.