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A Welcome from Our Director

Hello from the Civic Leaders Center, Indiana University’s residential community for freshmen students located in Briscoe Residence Center. Civic Leaders welcomed its first class of 66 students this past fall, and I’d personally like to invite you to apply to be a part of our community as we grow in the years to come.

IU is a grProfessor Paul Helmke photoeat place to go to school. I should know: it seems like just yesterday that I was standing in your shoes, preparing to head to Bloomington. As an undergraduate at IU, I studied political science and was president of the student government. Those educational and leadership experiences served me well at Yale Law School and then later as the three-term mayor of Fort Wayne (Indiana’s second largest city) and as the president of two national organizations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. I’ve always been passionate about public service, and I’m excited about returning to IU and having the opportunity to help students like you develop the skills the world needs from your generation of civic leaders.

The Civic Leaders Center welcomes incoming freshmen across all majors at IU. This last year's class was split between our SPEA majors and students from the Kelley School of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Journalism, and the new Schools of Public Health and Global and International Studies. Our aim is to create a unique, supportive community for students interested in public affairs, which includes politics, civic engagement, management, policy, and the promotion of the arts. You’ll take SPEA classes together, have access to alumni mentors and influential leaders who visit campus, and take trips to places like Washington, D.C. You’ll also have the chance to help shape our programming and offer valuable input about how to create a rewarding, challenging, and exciting environment.

I hope you’ll take a minute to look at our website and consider launching your career as a Hoosier with the Civic Leaders. Applications are being accepted beginning in January, and we have up to 35 scholarships available for this year alone. Look for us when you complete your housing application through Residential Programs and Services. And if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.

Paul Helmke
Professor of Practice and Director, Civic Leaders Living-Learning Center
School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)
Indiana University