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Larry MacIntyre
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, February 25, 2009

IU Bloomington announces new undergraduate honors award

Feb. 25, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Beginning this spring, Indiana University Bloomington will honor high-achieving undergraduate students with a new award that salutes sustained academic excellence.

Students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher will be designated as "Founders Scholars" at IU Bloomington's Honors Convocation on March 29. The Honors Convocation is among the activities that will take place during Founders Day, the annual celebration of IU's founding in 1820.

Founders Day

"IU's highest achieving students raise the caliber of performance here on the Bloomington campus, and they represent the enhanced intellectual environment that demands and ultimately leads to greater academic achievement," said IU President Michael McRobbie. "Such a culture of excellence will play a vital role in preparing all students for success in their efforts beyond Indiana University."

In addition to presenting the new award, IU will recognize those students who achieve a 3.5 GPA in a single semester with a dean's letter.

The new award will be introduced at a time when IU Bloomington has worked aggressively to strengthen its overall academic environment. Last fall, the campus welcomed its most academically successful freshman class ever; the group had the highest average SAT score (1,151) ever among first-year IU Bloomington students.

IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson said faculty welcomed the opportunity to applaud students who made the effort to maintain a 3.8 GPA over a number of semesters.

"We take pride in the achievements of all our students, but it is a special pleasure to honor those who have consistently excelled," she said. "We look forward to this opportunity to recognize and celebrate the exceptional academic performance of these IU Bloomington students."

To earn the Founders Scholar designation, an undergraduate degree-seeking student must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or above by the end of the fall term immediately preceding the Honors Convocation.

Founders Scholars will receive a letter of commendation from the president and provost in the early spring, and they and their families will be invited to the IU Bloomington Honors Convocation, which will take place on Sunday, March 29, at 2 p.m. in the IU Auditorium.

Information about the convocation is available at

Honors convocations are held on all IU campuses in the spring. Another university-wide observance, the Celebration of Distinguished Teaching, will be held on the Bloomington campus and hosted by McRobbie on March 27.

The celebration will salute 19 outstanding faculty members nominated and selected by their peers. It will also announce this year's appointment of distinguished professors, which must be approved by the Board of Trustees.

McRobbie said, "Honoring faculty achievement is one of the great privileges and pleasures of my office. It is most fitting that at the same time as we honor those whose work forms the very foundation of this university that we also reflect on the founding of this institution and the intellectual values that have sustained it over nearly two centuries. The distinguished teachers we honor this year continue the great traditions of excellence in education and research that are at the heart of this university."