Newswise — When Deborah J. Curtis is inaugurated as Indiana State University’s 12th president on Friday, April 13, she will use the platform to highlight the institution’s role as Indiana’s university.

In addition to the university itself contributing nearly $400 million to the economy, 85 percent of State graduates remain in Indiana to work and raise their families. “Indiana State University is the state of Indiana’s university,” Curtis said.

The inauguration will be held at 1 p.m. in the Hulman Center and features a theme of “Partnering for our Future,” as these relationships enhance students’ experiences at State and help advance the university’s strategic goals.

“I am pleased that the planning committee has been able to utilize this event as a way of spotlighting Indiana State’s many partnerships,” Curtis said. “These partnerships are making a major impact on our students’ experience as well as our community, our state, our nation and even our world.”

Delegates representing Indiana State’s partnerships will be represented at the event — more than 100 nonprofit organizations, corporations, state, regional and international education institutions and student organizations. A reception on the upper concourse of Hulman Center will follow the ceremony.

U.S. Deputy Surgeon General Sylvia Trent-Adams’ speech on Friday, April 6, kicked off a weeklong series of events — on campus and beyond — celebrating the inauguration. Other highlights include the Gibson Track and Field Invitational, president’s scholars brunch, a blood drive, unveiling of a new display for the Vigo County History Center, Terre Haute Symphony children’s concert, ISU Spirit Day at Vigo County Schools, faculty recognition banquet and local premiere of the Eva Kor documentary, “Eva.”

Curtis’ hiring has been described as “a tremendous selection during an important time” in the university’s 152-year history. Her presidency marks the culmination of a career filled with experience at every academic capacity of higher education, from faculty member to provost. A Chicago native, Curtis worked early on as an elementary music teacher in neighboring Edgar County, Ill., also with stints as a coach.

As the first woman — and second graduate — to lead the university, Curtis, Ph.D. ’86, attributes her experiences at State as the “launching pad” of her career. Curtis aims to do the same for other young adults by being externally focused during her presidency and working to keep a State education accessible and affordable.

A champagne reception and presidential inauguration dinner is set for 6 p.m. April 13 in the Sycamore Banquet Center. Proceeds will support the Michael L. Phillips Student Emergency Fund. For more information, go to


Register for reporter access to contact details