I was born and raised in Indianapolis so I have been part of its evolution. I remember when comedians joked about Indianapolis being India-no-place. How wrong they have proven themselves to be!
Last week Indianapolis was named a New Heartland Metro Area. After reading the criteria, I think our growth and development is pretty good. We were compared to Cincinnati and Louisville in population growth: Indianapolis has grown 12%; Cincinnati 7% and Louisville 6.8%. We were cited for a population of well-educated families. Our diversity was also praised.
I know that I was very proud in the late 60s when I was part of a "think tank" group that met at Lilly Endowment to envision our city decades later. We projected Indianapolis to be the Amateur Sports Capital of the World and established headquarters for many Sports Federations and set up some milestones for healthy living. Many of those projects have really enhanced our city.
The same "think tank" was dedicated to build IUPUI into a major University. I was an early member of the Metro Club and the late Michael Carroll insisted that we build a base of athletic participation at IUPUI. The campus was small in the 1960s and there was opposition to its expansion. Today we can all say—job well done!
IUPUI has gone from NCAA Division IV to Division I. Part of my opposition to the demolition of the entire Tennis Center is related to the work and pride that the Municipal Recreation Inc. and the Metro Club had in establishing this first-class center. The Metro Club has evolved into the Jaguars Athletic Club and promotes great fund raisers like the Michael Carroll Golf Outing to be held June 9th and benefits IUPUI student athletes.
I remember saying over and over to people asking me about Indianapolis: "It's a great place to work and raise a family." Today that is ever so true. Our city is such a great mix of private and public sectors working together to make our urban challenges manageable. Foundations, service organizations and religious organizations all have programs helping Indy.
It has been more than 40 years since I met with the "think tank" to help plan the future development of downtown Indianapolis and now the groups we helped have a master plan to develop the same area. I hope that they will realize that today's IUPUI campus and sports facility were a good result of the infusion of thoughtful volunteers from the past.