UIndy Gathers To Celebrate Historic Inauguration Of President Tanuja Singh

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The University of Indianapolis and the surrounding community experienced a historical ceremony honoring UIndy President Tanuja Singh. According to UIndy’s Website, Singh’s inauguration was held on April 4-5. There were a variety of events, beginning with a Corporate and Community Leaders Breakfast and concluding with an open student reception.

Vice President for Corporate and Community Partnerships Andy Kocher said the inauguration allows UIndy to gather with the community to celebrate a new future for the university. According to Kocher, the event allows UIndy to celebrate everything great about the institution.

“It celebrates not just a new leader in Dr. Tanuja Singh, but also a new vision and a new path forward into what we know is going to be a prosperous future for the university,” Kocher said. “The inauguration is a moment to celebrate all the things that make the University of Indianapolis great, and then all of the things that Dr. Singh and our community are going to achieve together as we move forward.”

Kocher said the choice to hold an inauguration months after Singh took the position as UIndy’s president was intentional. While people may think a president’s inauguration occurs shortly after taking the role, Kocher said traditionally UIndy has held inauguration ceremonies in April.

Singh said having an inauguration occur eight months into her presidency gave her the chance to give the audience a reflection of herself and her values. According to Singh, she used her eight months in office to learn more about UIndy as a community and an institution.

“In these eight months, I have learned from a lot of people about what matters in this state, to the state, how we might grow as a university, how we might partner with institutions that’ll help us grow,” Singh said. “If I had done it [the inauguration] earlier in my career, it would’ve been more a concept. Now, it is more a reality because a lot of the things I’m going to talk about in my comments are things we are already beginning to do in partnering with this community, in helping deliver our promise.”

The event is important to students and faculty due to how rare it is, Kocher said, and is a moment to celebrate something that will be remembered for years to come. As UIndy has only had 10 presidents since its founding in 1902, Kocher said students should attend special events like these.

Photo by Allison Cook UIndy President Tanuja Singh receives a round of applause while standing on the stage of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center during her Investiture Ceremony. The inauguration is historic for the university, as Singh is one of 10 presidents since its founding in 1902.

“It’s not quite as infrequent as the eclipse on Monday, but it is a very infrequent thing that we get to inaugurate a new president, and it’s an exciting time for an institution,” Kocher said. “These are opportunities to engage in that and hear the conversations, what we are going to be talking about as part of the celebrations and part of the events.”

According to Singh, the inauguration is not just historic for her but for UIndy as well. She said contributing to a major event for the university is humbling and is a way to strengthen UIndy as a whole. Singh said she wanted the event to connect with the external community and celebrate UIndy’s students and faculty.

“Everybody that’s attending the event is connected and will get connected,” Singh said. “I wanted it to be a celebration of our students and our faculty. Once I gave my vision to Andy Kocher, I asked him to help translate it into something that’s meaningful to our faculty, that’s meaningful for the community, that’s meaningful for our students and that’s meaningful for my family.”

Singh said she wanted to highlight the impact higher education has on the community during her inauguration. According to Singh, she hopes the inauguration showed how much she values the community and highlights how she has engaged and wants to continue engaging with students.

“Everything we are doing during this week will showcase that impactful part of higher education,” Singh said. “The greatest joy I have, the biggest thing that I get out of this job, is when my students are successful. And I hope that is showcased in every comment that I make and in everything we do because ultimately higher education matters a lot to society. It matters a lot to the world, it matters to our city, it matters to our state. And I hope we see the power of higher education and those are some of the things that I hope are reflected in my comments and the celebrations this week.”

According to Singh, everyone from students to senators attended the inauguration. She said it was wonderful to see community leaders in attendance, but she was most excited to see her friends and family.

“I had a senator in my office, Senator Andrea [Hunley], and she’s coming,” Singh said. “I met her as soon as I arrived here, but we have now really come to know each other and all of these people who care about the city. I’m looking forward to seeing everybody but most of all I’m looking forward to seeing my personal friends and family who are traveling from across the country.”

Kocher said the student reception portion of the inauguration allowed for students to get to know Singh as a person, rather than just their president. Singh wanted the celebrations to be relaxed and enjoyed spending  time having personal conversations with the students during the reception.

“Dr. Singh wants the student reception to be fun and informal and engaging,” Kocher said. “When you are a student and you want to engage with Dr. Singh, I think you’ll find that the investiture ceremony and in the following student reception will be an opportunity to both participate in the formal, but then really get to know her and talk to her and kind of just participate in a really fun, informal opportunity that celebrates the moment.”

Singh said she hopes attendees see that UIndy has the power to change lives in Indianapolis. UIndy is more than just a place to get a degree, Singh said, it is an institution that gives people life skills.

“We are a university that’s connected to the world and we have tremendous presence in the city and we have tremendous power to change lives in the city,” Singh said. “I hope they see us as an innovative, forward-thinking university that is preparing people for life skills, not just job skills … they see us truly as a lifelong learning opportunity institution and I hope they see a lot of pride.”

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