Bradley: ISU’s Noteworthy Alumni Key in Breaking Racial Barriers

ISU President Daniel J. Bradley explains how his university has played a significant role in American civil rights.

  • Tell us something that not enough people know about your college or university that makes it such a special place.

Indiana State University is proud to have one of the most diverse student populations in Indiana. Providing access and opportunity to higher education has been an important part of Indiana State’s history since it was created as the Indiana State Normal School in 1865.

Indiana State and its alumni have also played an important part in breaking racial barriers. Willa Brown Chappell, a 1927 graduate of Indiana State, was the first African-American officer in the Civil Air Patrol. A lifelong activist, Chappell lobbied the U.S. government to integrate both the U.S. Army Air Corps and the Civilian Pilot Training Program. She was appointed as coordinator of the CPTP in Chicago and trained more than 200 pilots including some of the Tuskegee Airmen.

With basketball tournament time upon us, many people may not be aware of the role Indiana State had in integrating the national basketball scene. In 1947, the Indiana State Sycamores men’s basketball team, coached by John Wooden, won the conference title and was invited to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) tournament. (Coach Wooden, of course, would later go on to win 10 NCAA championships at UCLA.)

However, the tournament officials had one stipulation to their invitation. Clarence Walker, Indiana State’s one African-American player, could not attend. Coach Wooden and the entire team immediately declined the invitation.

The following year, the team again won the conference championship and was invited to the national tournament. This time, the NAIA relented and let Walker attend. He played in the 1948 tournament with the full and unrelenting support of his coaches and teammates, becoming the first African-American to play in a national collegiate basketball tournament.

Indiana State has also been an avenue to success for many first-generation college students. Helping students achieve their educational goals remains a top priority and is a key component of Indiana State’s new strategic plan, “The Pathway to Success.”

Tomorrow: Indiana University’s Michael McRobbie

Bradley: Indiana State’s Partnerships Solve Problems, Enhance Health Care in Indiana

Indiana State University President Daniel J. Bradley explains ISU’s contribution in the context of statewide education.

  • Building on the Columbus and Richmond story of higher levels of collaboration featured in the current BizVoice, tell us how your institution fits in a statewide system of higher education with differentiated and complementary missions. 

Indiana State prides itself in the fact that our graduates not only have a solid well-rounded education but that they also have the skills needed to excel in the workplace. One of those skills is the ability to collaborate as part of a team. This is becoming increasingly more important in today’s society as a way to maximize the strengths of colleagues and partner organizations while working toward a shared vision, avoiding unnecessary duplication and solving complex problems.

In some areas the result is a new emphasis on intra- and inter-professional education. For example, Indiana State University has joined with the Indiana University School of Medicine, Union Hospital and its Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health, Ivy Tech Community College of the Wabash Valley, the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation and the City of Terre Haute to form the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC).

RHIC is designed to help address Indiana’s critical shortage of health care professionals, especially in rural areas. Through RHIC, future doctors, nurses, physical therapists, physician assistants, and other health care workers have opportunities to work together while being trained, thus better simulating the work environment they will experience after completing their degree programs. In addition to the synergy this arrangement will provide, resources for equipment, labs and instruction can be maximized.

The Collaborative extends beyond education to encompass economic development with the goal of attracting a range of health care companies and start-ups that will benefit from business incubator services available from Indiana State, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and Ivy Tech.

RHIC will also address neighborhood development through the revitalization of a blighted area located between the campuses of Indiana State and Union Hospital. Housing development is planned to attract students, medical residents and retirees to a revitalized part of the Terre Haute community.

Achieving the vision of this innovative concept would not be possible without the active collaboration of the RHIC partners. RHIC illustrates how the whole can truly be greater than the sum of its parts.

This concept of intra- and inter-professional education is transferable to many other disciplines and is likely to become a catalyst for education reform.