Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian comprehensive university of The Wesleyan Church committed to liberal arts and professional education. Over 3,000 students are enrolled in traditional programs on the main campus in Marion, Indiana. Nearly 12,500 adult learners study at education centers in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, and online.
Indiana Wesleyan University will pause to observe the end of one of the most eventful eras in its history next week with a series of events celebrating the career and contributions of its eighth president, Dr. Henry Smith, as he prepares to retire from the presidency to assume the position of Chancellor.
On April 17, the IWU family is gathering in the IWU Chapel Auditorium at 10:00 a.m. and 11:05 a.m. to celebrate the career and contributions of Dr. Henry Smith and his wife, Teresa.
Smith is retiring from the Presidency effective June 30, when he will assume the role of University Chancellor.
IWU will also have a public reception for the Smiths on Friday, April 19, in the Barnes Student Center Piazza on the main Marion campus, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Both events are open to the public.
During Smith's presidency, enrollment grew to a record 15,953 students making IWU the largest independent university in Indiana and the largest institution in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; University expansion included the chapel-auditorium, multiple residence halls and townhouses, Elder Hall, three new education centers and a new service center; the School of Nursing, the School of Health Sciences, Wesley Seminary at IWU, the Ron Blue Institute, National Conversations, the President's Author Series, the first Semester Study Abroad program, the Health Sciences Initiative, the Multicultural Enrichment Council and a University branding initiative were approved, formed or completed. Under construction are the Wesley Seminary building, and the Science and Nursing building. IWU has received recognition of its academic quality and affordability from U.S. News and World Report, Kiplinger's and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Throughout this month, IWU has been collecting remembrances of Smith from students who were a part of the University community during his presidency.
"You shook my hand when I received my associate degree in 2009," recalled Janet Davis-Spaeth. "This year, I will receive my bachelor's at age 77."
"Dr. Smith is so great interacting with the students," said senior Melissa Finster. "My roommate and I were flying kites on the Goodman lawn and Dr. Smith walked by on his way to a meeting. He stopped for just a little bit so he could fly my unicorn kite. It made my day."
"I think that he has served the student body well," said senior Nolan Moblo. "I can understand his reasoning for wanting to retire, and while he did a great job as IWU's President I look forward to seeing who takes his place and the path that the University takes after President Smith gives the reins to someone else."
The IWU Presidential Search Committee plans to have the ninth president seated by July 1, 2013.