The Indiana University Medals of Honor
The trustees and the president may bestow one of four medals to recognize accomplishment and service. Anyone wishing to nominate a candidate for any of the four should contact the Office of the President, located in Bryan Hall.
The University Medal
The University Medal has only been awarded 11 times since it was created in 1982. The first recipient was Thomas T. Solley, who was retiring as director of the IU Art Museum. At the bestowal, then-President John Ryan said:
"Occasionally in the life of a university, there emerges a person whose contribution is so singular that it does not fit easily within the characteristics of established awards. Even though no such award has been made in the 162-year history of Indiana University, the need for it, as well as the individual and the occasion for it, emerged simultaneously in recent months. An award of this kind is not without precedent among other universities, though they are few in number. It is not conceived as an annual award, but rather as one to be bestowed only at such times as eminently worthy recipients whose contributions differ from those recognized by traditional awards are identified."
The gold medallion, which bears university seal, is reserved not only for individuals of unique accomplishment, but also for those who are ineligible to receive an honorary degree or a Distinguished Alumni Service Award (DASA). The award can only be made by the authority and action of the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the president of the university.
The President's Medal for Excellence
The President’s Medal for Excellence is a reproduction in antique silver of the symbolic jewel of office worn by the president at ceremonial occasions. The jewel of office, which was presented to Indiana University by Pi Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, is rich in meaning. Its design, and the chain from which it hangs, are inspired by the arbutus, the university flower. Three precious stones within the jewel represent reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as, the arts, sciences, and humanities. The President’s Medal reflects those values.
Criteria for recipients include distinction in public service, service to Indiana University, achievement in a profession, and/or extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts, humanities, science, education, and industry. A certificate in recognition of excellence is presented when the medal is given.
The date of the first presentation was September 20, 1985, and the first recipients were members of the Beaux Arts Trio.
Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion
The bronze Benton Mural Medallion features a representation of a portion of the Thomas Hart Benton Mural. The reverse side has the seal of the university and space for the name of the recipient and date of presentation.
Criteria for recipients include distinction in public office or service, a significant relationship to Indiana University or Indiana, significant service to IU programs, students, or faculty, significant contribution to research or support for research. The medal also recognizes individuals who are shining examples of the values of IU and the universal academic community. A certificate is presented when the medal is given.
It was first presented on July 21, 1986, to the president of Nanjing University by then-President Ryan.
The Medal for Distinguished Service
The Medal for Distinguished Service commends outstanding service to Indiana University and the academic community. Criteria for bestowal include distinction in scholarship, service, research and/or a sustained relationship with Indiana University.
The medal is bright silver with the University Seal depicted in the center and surrounded by a circle of red. The rim of the medal is edged with replicas of the arbutus.
The medal was created in 2010 and first awarded by President Michael McRobbie on June 28, 2010 to Stuart Green, retiring interim chancellor and long-time faculty member at IU Kokomo.