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.

Duke Energy-Indiana Ties Run Deep

Jim Rogers’ road to the head of Duke Energy and leadership both within his industry and the U.S. business community began, in one sense, in Indiana. 

Who knew in 1988 when he joined Plainfield-based PSI Energy as chairman, president and CEO that PSI would merge with Cinergy (putting Rogers in a similar role out of Cincinnati from 1995-2006) and that the Cinergy-Duke marriage three years ago would elevate him to the leadership position he currently holds.

Rogers made an impact and left an impression in the Hoosier state. He served on the boards of directors of several leading corporations (Indiana National Bank and Duke Realty among them) and earned honorary doctorate degrees from Indiana State University (law) and Marian College (now Marian University) in business administration.

“When Jim Rogers arrived at PSI Energy  in the late 1980s, he brought a level of enthusiasm and vision that challenged the historically conservative power industry,” declares Vince Griffin, who worked for Rogers at that time and is now the Indiana Chamber vice president of environmental and energy policy. “This is unquestionably a challenging time for the electric power industry.”

Duke Energy is also looking at its Edwardsport, Indiana facility as a pilot project for the future with its investment in a 630-megawatt IGCC (integrated gasification combined cycle) facility.

Indiana takes center stage in the energy debate on September 2 with the Indiana Conference on Energy Management. The Duke Energy view, and undoubtedly a heavy dose of Rogers’ philosophy, will be featured in the keynote address from Jim Turner, the company’s second in command and leader of U.S. franchised electric and gas operations.

Walk This Way (in Terre Haute, That Is)

I wish I enjoyed exercising. But, the last time I went to the gym, I saw my life flash before my eyes while trying to lift weights. And, I’m not exactly the most coordinated athlete. But, I do like walking outdoors (what better way to get fit than while exploring nature?), which is why I’m intrigued by an initiative involving trails and greenways in Terre Haute.

Many projects currently taking place downtown were inspired by the National Road Heritage Trail, which will ultimately stretch 150 miles from the Indiana/Illinois border to the edge of Ohio. Locally, it encompasses the east end of Vigo County to the Wabash River and extends through downtown Terre Haute.

“The genesis of that trail system is right here in Terre Haute,” declares Pat Martin, chief planner for the City of Terre Haute Department of Engineering. “The vision for the trail was to establish an east-west backbone for the trail and greenway system and revitalize neighborhoods and redevelop adjacent land parcels.”

Since 2002, 23 miles of trails and greenways have been developed in the city. The system will be lengthened this year and eventually span approximately 55 miles.

Economic development projects spurred by the trail include:

  • Heritage Trail Apartments – a $40 million luxury apartment complex with 296 units located on the city’s east side within walking distance of Indiana State University and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • Multi-million dollar extension of Locust Street
  • Neighborhood and park connectivity and redevelopment 
  • Increase in the value of adjacent brownfield properties

“Perhaps the biggest change of all is in the change in lifestyle for the community,” Martin observes. “This has brought about a greater interest in active lifestyles, not only with the National Heritage Trail, but with the entire trail and greenway system."

Learn about additional downtown revitalization projects, as well as other important initiatives taking place in Terre Haute, in the current issue of BizVoice®.