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April 2009

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Vol. 2008-2009 No. 8

Retirees to pitch in, party with Porter

The Retirees Association will close the academic year with its traditional pitch-in dinner, featuring scrumptious cuisine from members’ kitchens. Bring a tasty treat and gather at the Peterson Room of the Showalter House at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 13. The association will provide meat, wine, and table service.

So that sufficient meat, tables, and chairs will be available, please let Eileen Schellhammer know that you’re coming. You can e-mail her at or leave a message at 330-8522. Eileen suggests that we will have a well-balanced meal if we bring a dish according to the first letter of our last names:

After the meal, Bob and Pat Williams will present a program titled “We Get a Kick Out of Cole Porter.” Bob and Pat met at IU, where Bob was classically trained on the piano at the School of Music while Pat took business courses. Bob taught school in Kokomo from 1959 to 1996. Pat worked for a U.S. Congressman for 16 years and then for IU Kokomo, where the couple developed their blend of piano plus story-telling.

Pat and Bob have traveled to various states with their Hoagy Carmichael program. “Bob plays the classics of our era, music that appeals to older Americans,” Pat says. Their Cole Porter program made its debut just last year, and what we hear May 13 will be, Pat says, “a new version tweaked just for this occasion.”

Why not invite a friend or two to join you and see what the association is all about?

Laurie McRobbie says IU’s first ladies illustrate evolution of women’s roles

History has paid attention primarily – and appropriately – to their spouses, but Indiana University’s 18 first ladies are interesting women in their own right. Although each conducted herself in the context of the time, these 18 women shared common roles as advocate, ambassador, confidante, hostess, community member – and often, parent as well.

That was the message Laurie Burns McRobbie, wife of President Michael McRobbie, brought to the Retirees Association meeting April 8 – but only after delivering her and her husband’s “enormous appreciation of the contributions each of you has made to the university. IU is what it is today because you chose to give her the benefit of your talent and dedication.”

Laurie told stories of eight first ladies. The first of these, Margaret Wylie, first lady from 1829 to 1851, arrived with nine children to a town of 400, a faculty of three, and a student body of 40.
Jesse Jordan, IU’s first lady from 1885 to 1891, was, like her husband, a scientist and world traveler. She finished at IU the biology studies she had begun at Cornell University, and the Jordans led IU’s first study abroad program before leaving to become Stanford University’s first first couple.

Charlotte Lowe Bryan, IU’s first lady from 1902 to 1937, married her professor, William Bryan, who took her birth name to be his middle name as a mark of respect to the woman he called his “most sympathetic, keenly discrimin-ating, and truthful counselor.” After the death of her husband, Bernice “Mother” Wells came to visit her son, Herman B Wells, for a month in 1948. She never left and served as IU’s first Lady until her death in 1963, at age 91. Her son paid tribute to her gregarious, fun-loving spirit, her sense of social responsibility, and her mothering of foreign students.

Patricia Ryan, IU’s first lady from 1971 to 1987, came to her role at a time of upheaval and declining state support. With her husband, John, she sought to restore a sense of tradition and stability through an open-door policy that meant being hostess to 10,000 people a year while finishing a degree and raising a family. Pat was in the audience to hear Laurie read John’s tribute to her as his “partner in the presidency,” a woman who never overlooked anyone.

When Tom Ehrlich was asked to name the greatest asset he was bringing to IU, he answered, “My wife.” As first lady from 1987 to 1994, Ellen Ehrlich championed volunteerism and the United Way. A strong advocate and fundraiser for her favorite causes, she paved the way for Laurie’s own advocacy of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education and Middle Way House. Ellen says she and Tom “chose to do this job in a way that was very much together.”

Peg Zeglin Brand, first lady from 1994 to 2002, is the first presidential spouse to hold a doctorate and a faculty appointment. She was part of the philosophy department first on the Bloomington campus and now at IUPUI and paved the way for Laurie’s appointment as an adjunct in the School of Informatics. Peg “professionalized the role of the first lady” and was a strong advocate for spousal pay. According to Laurie, “Peg did as much as any of her peers to help redefine the role of presidential spouse for the 21st century.”

Karen Herbert, first lady from 2002 to 2007, performed her duties with warm inclusiveness. A lover of the visual arts, particularly the Hoosier Salon style, she sponsored the restoration of John Edward Bundy's 1902 painting “View from Bay,” which hangs in the Bryan House. Karen also served as a role model for women of color on campus.

One manifestation of societal change is that since the 1980s the role of presidential spouse has been a paid position at IU. With so many women in the workplace and with men now filling the role of first spouse, universities no longer can assume they will get two people for the price of one.

Laurie believes Michelle Obama as presidential spouse represents a sea change that will change the role of first spouses at other levels. Mrs. Obama is teaching us that “part of being a good mother is to show her daughters how to lead,” a lesson Laurie says she learned from her mother.

Asked what is her biggest challenge, Laurie replied without hesitation, “Keeping a normal family life for our blended family of six children,” four daughters and two sons. The oldest daughter graduated from the University of Michigan and is performing music. The second, a journalism graduate of IU, works full time at WFIU. The older son graduated from the University of Michigan and is going to pursue biomedical research at UC San Diego; the younger son is finishing his freshman year at IU. A daughter is finishing her freshman year at the University of Chicago, and another daughter will attend the University of Southern California after high school graduation.

About 55 people heard Laurie McRobbie’s presentation and stayed to chat with her and to taste the delicious cookies provided by Mary Jensen, Kate Kroll, and Martha Smiley.

TIAA/CREF opens Bloomington office

TIAA/CREF has opened an office in Bloom-ington, Keatrick Johnson, senior consultant for individual client services, told the Retirees Association April 8. The new office is on the east side of town, at 2852 E. Buick-Cadillac Blvd., between Curry Buick and Burger King. To schedule an appointment, call 349-4440.

We’re in the black!

Retirees Association treasurer Don Weaver reports that, as of March 20, the organization has a healthy balance of $3,812.60 to support its activities for the balance of the spring and summer. The Retirees Association contributed $250 to support the Emeriti House Art Exhibit.

Art exhibit now at Emeriti Center

The seventh annual Emeriti House Art Exhibit is open throughout April. The Emeriti Center is at 1015 E. Atwater. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The mixed-media exhibit features painting, graphic arts, jewelry, pottery, woodworking, and photography. On Friday, May 1, the center will host its end-of-semester tasting party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Welcome, new board members!

Dick Dever, Jim Kennedy, and Vince Mabert were elected to three-year terms on the board of the IU Association of Retired Faculty and Staff at the annual meeting on April 8. Dick was a professor in the School of Education, joining the faculty in 1969. Jim, currently Monroe County Sheriff, retired as university director of security, chief of police of the IU Police Department, and an adjunct professor of criminal justice. In 2008 Vince retired after 29 years as a professor of operations management at the Kelley School of Business.

Retiring from the board are Marge Belisle, Bob Ensman, and Don Weaver. Thank you for your service.

Don’t forget to renew parking permits

Most retired faculty and staff are entitled to purchase an IU parking permit. An A retired permit costs the same as a regular C permit. If you have an annual permit, don’t forget that it expires June 30. You may renew your permit at Parking Operations, 310 S. Fess Ave. A 2009-10 permit will cost you $114, the same as last year. If you have questions about your eligibility for such a permit, you can give Parking Operations a call at 855-9848.

Bob Ensman to complete two years at helm of Retirees Association

The May 13 pitch-in dinner will mark the end of Bob Ensman’s two years as president of the IU Association of Retired Faculty and Staff. As vice president and president-elect, Sandy Churchill will lead the organization in the 2009-2010 year. Here is Bob’s annual report:

You may not know that Indiana University is near the bottom of the Big Ten list, especially compared with our state partner, Purdue, when it comes to membership, support from the university, and programs offered to retirees. Thus, the first step to an improved association is to obtain recognition by the university. Therefore, we are actively pursuing formal recognition through discussions with IU administrators: Terry Clapacs, Karen Hanson, Dan Rives, and soon President McRobbie.

We are also working to increase the awareness of our members about numerous benefits now available from IU by constructing a working Web site, developing more efficient publication of Newswatch, designing and publishing an informational brochure, and continuing cooperation with Emeriti House and the University Club.

We will be hosting the Big Ten Retirees Association Conference in August of 2010. Before Curt Simic retired as president and CEO of the IU Foundation, the Executive Committee petitioned him for a grant to partially fund the Big Ten Conference and to publish a brochure to be used by our membership committee for recruitment. And so, finally, I am able to announce the establishment of an IU Foundation account in our name, with a starting balance of $15,000. I say “starting balance” because we asked that this account be set up to accommodate future public donations.

This grant is yet another indication of the increasing recognition that IU retired employees dedicated and valued ambassadors for the university. Currently, there are 3,900 living faculty and staff retirees of IU. Surely, as a group, many of whom have dedicated a lifetime of service, we should be – and are – as committed to serving IU as are its graduates. These are exciting times for our association, and I invite you all to continue to participate in our programs and to volunteer to serve on committees or special projects.

In memoriam

In this final newsletter of the academic year, we honor the memory of Retiree Association members whom we lost during the year. Listings are limited to people who belonged to the association at the time of their deaths. Please inform the editor (, 332-5057) of any omissions.

Alice Deppe died in Bloomington April 20, 2009. She was 85. Alice married Ted Deppe in 1944. They moved to Bloomington in 1953 so Ted could pursue a doctorate and begin his long career with the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. With a background in social work, Alice, the mother of four, was a community organizer of the first order. A 50-year member and past president of the League of Women Voters, she was also active in Planned Parenthood, PEO, First United Methodist Church, and Bloomington Hospital “pink ladies.” More recently she served on the marketing and hospitality committees at Meadowood.

Frank K. Edmondson died in Bloomington Dec. 8, 2008. He was 96. Frank earned his bachelor’s degree at IU in 1933 and his master’s in 1934. After earning his Ph.D. in astronomy at Harvard in 1937, he returned to IU as a faculty member. He served as chairman of the astronomy department from 1944 until 1978. In 1964 Frank was awarded the Order of Merit by the Republic of Chile for his work in helping to establish the Cerro Tololo InterAmerican Observatory in the foothills of the Andes. He also served as president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. Frank received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Indiana University in 1997.

Thomas J. Hennessy died in Bloomington Nov. 27. 2008. He was 82. Tom came to IU in 1963 as a doctoral student and as head counselor in the Department of Residence Halls Counseling and Activities. He became assistant director of residence life in 1966 and associate director in 1968. After earning his Ph.D. in 1974, he also taught part time in the School of Education. He served as an adviser to Sigma Alpha Epsilon and to the Residence Halls Association. After retiring in 1992, he was influential in the formation of the Residence Halls Alumni Association, which every two years grants the Thomas Hennessy Award to a prominent alumnus.

Bruce McQuigg died Sept. 27, 2008, at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis. He was 81. He joined the School of Education in 1960 and also taught in the School of Dentistry and the Medical Records program in Indianapolis. He served as director of the Student Leadership Institute, a workshop for high school leaders. He also developed a workshop for prospective teachers sponsored by Phi Delta Kappa. A director of the North Central Association, he also was president of the University Club, Men’s Faculty Club, IU Annuitants (the precursor of the IU Association of Retired Faculty and Staff), and Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa.

Virginia Savage died in Bloomington Sept. 26, 2008. She was 88. While majoring in journalism at IU, Virginia met her future husband, Chris Savage. They were married in 1941 and returned to Bloomington in 1946, where Chris worked as headmaster of the dormitories at IU and later taught in the department of journalism. Virginia earned her master’s degree in 1960 and taught for 27 years in Monroe County elementary schools. When the death of her husband in 1964 left her a single mom with four children, Virginia continued to teach, retiring in 1984. In the late 1980s she began a second career as a reporter for the faculty-staff IU Newspaper.