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Last modified: Wednesday, September 16, 2009

IU leaders past and present remember Brand

Sept. 16, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Past and present leaders at Indiana University share their remembrances of Myles Brand, IU's 16th president:

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John Walda

John Walda, former president of the IU Board of Trustees, a board member from 1990 to 2001 and now president of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, said: "Myles Brand had the rare and wonderful convergence of wisdom, leadership, ethical behavior and warm humanity within him. He used these gifts to move IU to greatness. In eight short years, by doubling IU's research funding, tripling the number of endowed chairs and professorships, quadrupling the size of the endowment, and solidifying IU's leadership in life sciences through bold moves like creating Clarian Health Partners, Myles left his indelible mark. I am grateful for what he did, how he inspired us, and how he enriched our lives."

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J. Terry Clapacs

J. Terry Clapacs, who retired in May as vice president and chief administrative officer after a four-decade career at IU, said: "Myles served Indiana University at a time that required extraordinary leadership and tough decisions. He never backed away from his responsibilities and duties even when he knew certain decisions would not be popular. His actions were based in university integrity and were never about himself. He loved IU and cared deeply about the university community. I was proud to serve in his administration. He was also a wonderful friend."

Sue Talbot, of Bloomington and an IU trustee from 2001 to the present, said: "Myles Brand played a significant role in shaping Indiana University during his presidency. He was a very strategic visionary and was able to coalesce many divergent thinkers into planning future endeavors for our institution. He was intuitive about future endeavors and responsible for forming our Informatics program, forging international cooperation and initiating the Life Sciences plan for Indiana, as well as institutionalizing advanced technology on all IU campuses. He worked cooperatively with other state universities and with the AAU and national leadership. He and his wife, Peg, portrayed a first couple with great decorum and gracious hospitality. Myles was a true gentleman and a scholar, a treasure to work with as an employee and to administrate with as a trustee."

Harry Gonso, an attorney and partner with Ice Miller LLP in Indianapolis, an IU trustee from 1976-94 and chair of the search committee that recommended Brand as IU's president, said: "I had the pleasure of first meeting Myles when he was president of the University of Oregon. What struck me then was his remarkable leadership ability, especially a willingness to make tough decisions in a very difficult economic and educational environment. He carried those qualities to Indiana University and demonstrated them, in some cases, under the most difficult circumstances. By that, Indiana was made stronger. After he stepped down from IU, he provided the same leadership for the NCAA. I will miss him personally as a great friend, and the institution will miss him as a great contributor."

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Cora Smith Breckenridge

Cora Smith Breckenridge of Elkhart, a member of the IU Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2006, said: "Myles and the Board of Trustees welcomed me with open arms" when she was elected to be IU's first black trustee. "I always had great respect for Dr. Brand and his decisions. He was, to me, one of our greatest university presidents. I think he moved us forward in many ways, especially with his great emphasis on our medical school and health care system. I appreciated very much having the opportunity to serve with him."

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Charlie Nelms

Charlie Nelms, IU's first vice president for diversity (later IU vice president for institutional development and student affairs), former chancellor at IU East (1987-1994), former associate dean for academic affairs at IU Northwest (1978-1984) and currently the chancellor at North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., said: "Myles Brand was an extraordinary visionary, who understood better than any higher education leader I know the confluence between excellence and diversity. Moreover, he understood that excellence and diversity are part of the same fabric and that you cannot have one without the other. He walked the talk. He was my mentor and my friend. When Myles Brand created the position of vice president for diversity, IU was among a small number of major universities to do so. In doing so, it was an indication of Myles' understanding that the institution needed a voice at the policy level, at the table. Not only was it a voice to deal with diversity, but also with all aspects of university administration."

Dr. William Cast, current president of the IU Board of Trustees and member, 2005-present, said: "One of President Brand's greatest legacies will be the creation of a modern information technology program for all campuses of Indiana University, for which he hired Michael McRobbie as vice president for information technology in 1997. His vision led to Indiana's esteemed and highly-ranked School of Informatics."

Curt Simic

Tyagan Miller

Curt Simic

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Curt Simic, president emeritus of the Indiana University Foundation, said, "Myles understood the value of philanthropy and its importance to IU's success. He was largely responsible for the biggest gift Indiana University ever received, $105 million from the Lilly Endowment for the Genomics Initiative. Two other important gifts that came to IU during his tenure were $23 million from Ed Kelley for the Kelley School of Business, and $40.6 million from Barbara and David Jacobs for the Jacobs School of Music. These were transformative gifts. Myles also committed university funds to matching income on gifts for endowed faculty positions. The result of this visionary decision was to raise IU from the bottom to the top of the Big Ten in the number of endowed faculty positions university-wide. Myles worked hard for Indiana University and cared deeply about its success and its future. We benefit today, and will benefit for years to come, from the good work he did for IU."

Robert Eno, associate professor and former chair of IU's Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and former president of the Bloomington Faculty Council in 2001-03, said: "Working with Myles Brand during his years at IU, nothing was more impressive than his commitment to our mission to expand knowledge and understanding. This shaped every aspect of his career -- as an outstanding philosopher, a university president, and a national leader in the effort to reshape college sports so it would truly serve the needs of academic communities. He shared the core values of faculty members, and his achievements are ones that reflect the best of the American university tradition."