Professor receives Living Legend award

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Vision, integrity and passion. That is the principle that Professor Phylis Lan Lin lives by, according to her daughter Toni Lin at the 10th anniversary gala of the Indy Asian American Times newspaper, where her mother received the Living Legends award. Toni gave the speech on her mother’s behalf on Aug. 23 for all the work she has done for the University of Indianapolis.

The gala was held at the Lilly Hall of the Indiana Historical Society. UIndy also sponsored a table there. The awards were given to individuals who impacted the society and made major contributions that have impacted the lives of many. Lin was proudly among them.

Lin moved from Taiwan to Montana and eventually ended up in Indianapolis. She has served in a multitude of capacities at UIndy, including associate vice president for International Partnerships, executive director of the University of Indianapolis press and director of Asian Programs. She has been a professor for more than 40 years at the university.



Former Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut also declared a Phylis Lan Lin Day, according to Director of the International Division Mimi Chase.

Upon receiving the award, Lin said she felt honored and humbled. Lin said she has many supporters, and she used the word guiren, which in Chinese means someone who has supported you, or your mentor.

“If it weren’t for my colleagues and students, I would not have stayed at UIndy for almost 42 years,” Lin said.

Lin said she has a huge support system that has helped her to achieve her goals and dreams.

“Of course, my biggest support in my life is my family—my parents, siblings, daughter and husband,” Lin said.

A number of individuals at the gala were recognized for their achievements within their lifetimes and for the community. Among Lin’s accomplishments, she also has acquired many hobbies that include collecting paintings. Lin has published more than 30 books and has many of her painting collections currently hanging in the UIndy buildings. One of her paintings, “The Blues Singer,” is hanging in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, and there are also multiple Chinese paintings in Esch Hall.

Lin also will make a keynote presentation in Shanghai on Oct. 24 at an international conference on aging.

“I am 72 now, and I am over the hump,” Lin said. “My topic [for my presentation] is ‘Successful Aging: Conceptualization.’”

Lin reflected on her accomplishments at UIndy and how she feels about winning such a prestigious reward.

“I started teaching at UIndy in 1973. There is no way for me to share all the joyful information I have had with students and colleagues over the years,” Lin said. “It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to create a legend.”


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