Meet Laurie Burns McRobbie
Laurie Burns McRobbie – Honoree
IU’s FIrst Lady
As IU’s 18th First Lady, Laurie brings broad experience with research universities to her role. She is an effective ambassador for Indiana University, actively promoting the university and her husband’s vision for IU as a global leader in the 21st century. She is closely engaged with IU’s extensive alumni community across the nation and around the world, championing the philanthropic spirit among IU’s alumni and particularly the growing importance of women’s philanthropy.
Laurie is a founder of the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council at the Indiana University Foundation and serves as its honorary chair. She is also past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities. In 2012, she was named Woman of the Year by the City of Bloomington’s Commission on the Status of Women, and in 2014, she was given the Leading Light Outstanding Leadership Award by the Indianapolis-based organization Women & Hi Tech. In 2018 she was given the Women Excel Bloomington Award by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.Laurie, who has been a technologist in higher education for more than 25 years, holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering where she helped found and currently chairs the Advisory Committee for Serve IT, an IT clinic that provides service–learning opportunities for students with Bloomington area nonprofits. She has served in various management and executive positions in the Information Technology Division at the University of Michigan, and most recently served as an executive director with Internet2. She helped found and lead Internet2’s Inclusivity Initiative, which has sponsored scholarships and travel grants for women technologists and network engineers, as well as a major survey of gender diversity in employment. Laurie also holds an adjunct faculty position in the Lilly School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.
She played a crucial role in the establishment of the Indiana University Center of Excellence for Women and Technology (CEWiT) at IUB, which seeks to create, foster, and improve academic and professional opportunities for women students, faculty, and staff working in or with technology. She also chairs CEWiT’s Advisory Council.
IU’s First Lady also devotes her energies to fostering the relationship between Indiana University and the surrounding community. Laurie is a board member of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, and has served on the boards of WonderLab, a children’s science museum, and Middle Way House, a national model program addressing domestic violence, for which she chaired the capital campaign for a new shelter. She also served as a member of the community advisory board for Bloomington’s Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship, and has served on the Board of Visitors of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Laurie received a Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in May 2016. She received a bachelor’s degree in history with honors from the University of Michigan in 1978 and helped establish a major in Women’s Studies as an undergraduate. While working at the University of Michigan in the mid–1980s and 1990s, Laurie co–chaired the university’s Commission for Women and served on the President’s Advisory Commission on Women’s Issues. Laurie serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Indiana Conference for Women. She was appointed by the Governor to the Indiana Arts Commission in July 2017, and to the Riley Board of Governors in 2018.
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