Julian Bond to help launch IU School of Education's Inspire Living-Learning Center

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Indiana University School of Education will formally mark the launch of the Inspire Living-Learning Center with a ceremony featuring remarks from civil rights activist and former NAACP president Julian Bond.

The ceremony, at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, will take place in the north courtyard area of the Rose Avenue Residence Hall, home of the Inspire Living-Learning Center. The Rose Avenue Residence Hall is just off Rose Avenue, south of the Wright Education Building.

The event will also formally recognize the $1 million gift from the Ford Family Fund for Inspire. The money funds programming and scholarships for the center.

Ford Family Fund president and Indiana University alumna Jean Ann Ford and her family live in the San Francisco area. Born and raised in Indiana, three generations of Fords have graduated from IU. Ford majored in education and minored in fine arts, and her identical twin sister, Jane, majored in business. After graduating, the sisters opened a small cosmetic boutique in 1976 that over 38 years grew into Benefit Cosmetics, with a global presence in the world of luxury cosmetics.

“Education and those who choose to teach are unique,” Ford said of the Ford Family Fund gift. “Teaching is not a job, nor a career. It’s a calling, an avocation. I can think of no other more noble calling than teaching. As we age past schooling and go about our careers, I dare say there are few of us that forget the name of one of our primary school teachers. Why is that, when we can forget the name of a person we were just introduced to? Therein lies the importance and enthusiasm for teaching. My family is honored to be a small part in the creation of the Inspire Living-Learning Center. Hats off to a new generation of teachers!”

Starting with the fall semester, the Inspire Living-Learning Center began welcoming students intending to major in education who are particularly creative, talented and motivated. The students selected for Inspire are provided with special out-of-class experiences intended to enhance their academic studies in teacher preparation programs at the IU School of Education.

Bond, who is also delivering the Harris Lecture at the IU Maurer School of Law on Wednesday, will deliver remarks Thursday noting the need to prepare excellent teachers. His keynote will particularly mark issues of ongoing educational equity in light of the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that declared segregated schools unconstitutional.

The Inspire Living-Learning Center is open to undergraduate students pursuing an education degree in the IU School of Education in Bloomington, with scholarships available to Indiana residents. As a part of the living-learning center, students will be exposed to special events, practice self-governance, interact with world-renowned education experts from across the world, participate in professional development workshops, and lead service-learning projects. Students will also be able to explore the roles educators play outside the classroom as community leaders, education policy experts, entrepreneurs and advocates for education reform.

In the case of rain, the ceremony will move inside the Wright Education building atrium.