TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State University welcomed its former president back to campus Wednesday for the dedication of a campus building named in his honor — the John W. Moore Welcome Center.
Moore, who was ISU president from 1992 to 2000, offered credit back to those who helped along the way. Describing the new center’s dedication in his name as a “very impressive and heartwarming tribute,” he attributed the university’s success to teamwork.
“For me to stand here and take credit for things that people have done along the way is very difficult. I hope you can understand that,” he said to the assembled crowd.
The new welcome center faces a bubbling fountain on ISU’s Dede Plaza, east of the Hulman Memorial Student Union. At 22,000 square feet, the $3 million project involved the renovation of the building formerly known as the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (before that, Home Economics). The new center houses the university’s offices of admissions, New Student Transitions Program and University Testing.
As a pep band stood ready to play, Richard Toomey, associate vice president for enrollment management, noted he’s among those university employees who will be happy to work in the new building.
“I assure you, if you haven’t been inside, it will truly knock your socks off,” he said.
Moore’s legacy, he said, is one of increased diversity and access to higher education. Naming a welcoming center after him was only fitting, he said.
“There are a lot of student services that will be housed here, and we thought it appropriate to name it for Dr. Moore,” he said.
Daniel Bradley, ISU’s current president, said Moore is remembered for how welcome he made a diverse range of people feel at the campus. Despite Bradley’s initial misgivings about the project for logistical reasons, he expressed gratitude that other university officials pressed on with their case for its completion.
“Clearly, I was wrong,” he chuckled to applause.
Moore said that, while president, he hoped to help ISU become Indiana’s “opportunity university,” one which would serve a wide range of demographics, particularly those who needed help for lack of academic preparation. Increasing access to higher education, an “egalitarian” goal, helps the university in its mission to transform lives, he said.
But those goals could never be achieved by just one individual, he said, adding that memories of those with whom he worked at ISU are among his most precious.
“That’s really the thing, when you get to be 73 years old, that you think about the most,” he said, as he prepared to unlock the welcome center’s doors with a ceremonial key.
Brian Boyce can be reached at (812) 231-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.