President Deborah J. Curtis stated this year marks the end of ISU’s Sesquicentennial Celebration
Some ISU students have responded to President Deborah J. Curtis’s Fall Address, which was released as an online video Wednesday.
President Curtis opened her portion of the address by saying that this year marks the end of the Indiana State University Sesquicentennial Celebration, which lasted from 2015 to 2020. “This celebration [marked] the 150th anniversary since the Indiana State Normal School was created by the Indiana State General Assembly,” President Curtis said. “Later this semester will mark the 150th anniversary of opening our doors in 1870.”
President Curtis then talked about the many challenges that Indiana State University has overcome in its 150-year history. These included a fire that destroyed the college’s only building in 1888, two world wars, the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic, the Great Depression, periods of social unrest, and many other difficult times.
“It is during these times that we as Sycamores recognize our strength and resilience,” she said.
COVID-19 then took the spotlight, as President Curtis praised faculty and students’ responses to the campus shutdown that occurred mid-March 2020 and lasted throughout the end of the spring semester.
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, President Curtis said that ISU finances have been greatly impacted. A much larger amount of students than normal who had originally decided to attend ISU in the fall ended up deferring enrollment to a future start term. This number represented 57% increase over the typical deferments.
Alexis Bromley, a junior elementary education major, says that she understands why there is an increase in students who deferred enrollment to a future start term. “They’re paying full price for classes that will likely be hybrid or online,” Bromley said. “If they don’t learn well online or out of the normal classroom, they are setting themselves up to fail.”
Because ISU has experienced a slash in incoming finances, President Curtis said the University has delayed maintenance, delayed filling positions, cancelled salary raises, and eliminated empty positions wherever possible, all with the end goal of not raising tuition for students. “We look forward to an economic recovery that we are confident is in our near future,” she said.
President Curtis also addressed the Black Lives Matter movement. “Our country has experienced a social justice call to action,” she stated. “ISU and our trailblazing alumni have often been at the forefront of pivotal moments of our state and national social justice evolution.”
Finally, President Curtis introduced the new director of the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center, Dr. Tiffany Reed. Both Curtis and Reed share the idea that advancing inclusiveness among students at Indiana State University and the Terre Haute community.