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IU Bloomington to participate in 10-day Bicentennial celebration



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Red clock towers can be found throughout IU's campus. Matt Begala Buy Photos

The celebration of IU's 200 years is a 10-day long celebration, which began Sept. 18 at IUPUI’s campus. Bloomington’s festivities will end the 10 days with events from Sept. 26-28. 

"What does being a part of a university that's been around for so long mean to you?" asks Angel Nathan, assistant project manager for IU Bicentennial.

She hopes students reflect upon it with the upcoming Bicentennial festivities.

To Nathan, this celebration is a cohesive moment for all campuses in IU's history, and it gives the opportunity to reflect on the past 200 years and start thinking about the next. 

"Before you can provoke change you have to provoke thought," Nathan said.

To IU spokesperson Chuck Carney, IU has always existed to provoke thought. From making toothpaste to a more recent technology that searches out stories made by bots, IU has always been thinking ahead.

"I would say the 200th anniversary is not a pat on the shoulder, but it’s really a push forward on the back," Carney said.

Having this kind of thought around for so long can make it easily taken for granted, he said. That's why he encourages students to come to the events starting Sept. 26 to experience the community, the alumni, the history and the research that has come out of IU.

The fiscal Bicentennial year started July 1 this year. The official anniversary is January 20, 2020. The main events of the celebration’s last daywill start at 10 a.m. with performances in the IU auditorium, which people can RSVP for online. 

The first 200 people to arrive will get a replica of IU’s bicentennial medal, an award given to people who have “enlarged the footprint of IU,” as stated on the IU’s honors and awards web page. Following this, outdoor festivities and food will be from 3 to 7 p.m. at the IU Athletics Complex. This will include the world’s largest bounce house, which is 10,000 square feet. During those hours, for people with their crimson card, the bounce house is free. People who have proof of partaking in the Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, which starts at 7:30 a.m. that day, can purchase tickets for $5. For the public, tickets are $10. To use the bounce house on other days and outside those hours on Saturday, the cost is $5 for everyone. A more detailed list of events can be found on the IU Bicentennial’s website.

Rather than just the community within IU-Bloomington, Nathan recognizes the larger community is all of IU campuses, which she hopes students realize.

"You are a part of the institution’s narrative,” Nathan said. “It's important for you to consider how you want to write that narrative." 

Clarification: Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children, $5 for Hoosiers Outrun Cancer participants, and $5 for IU students, except Saturday 3-7 p.m., during the actual outdoor festival. Only IU students are free.

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