Laurie Burns McRobbie

“The Call to Service” Quilt Dedication

IU SPEA Civic Leaders Living Learning Center
Briscoe Residence Center

Thank you, Kate [Lenkowsky]. Your quilt is inspiring and a true work of art. On behalf of Indiana University, I’m delighted to welcome this powerful symbol of service and artisanship into the Briscoe Residence Center. I can’t think of a better location on campus to display such a fine representation of civic engagement. Your quilt resembles the “patchwork of students” that come to IU’s Civic Leaders Center from many different backgrounds, but with one common goal: service.

As Kate mentioned, this quilt was created in response to one of our nation’s darkest moments, one that, however young you each were on that day, you probably remember as well. But out of that tragedy, individuals, like Kate, responded by serving their communities any way they could. Studies show that volunteerism – which was on the decline before the September 11 attacks – rose dramatically in the years after 9/11. At IU, volunteerism and community engagement have long been part of the IU tradition, and now more so than ever.  The Civic Leaders program itself, just beginning its second year, is testimony to how important this spirit of service is to the university you are now part of.

It’s very energizing for me to be with you today and to welcome you as our new class of civic leaders.  I hope Kate’s quilt reminds you of your own call to serve your community. I hope you will continue to take inspiration from it and carry your passion into the classroom, to the organizations you join, and to the leadership roles I know you will fill. You’ll learn quickly. IU is dedicated to providing students opportunities to serve – whether it’s on campus or in the community, in the state of Indiana or across the country, or around the world!

Again, Kate, thank you for this generous donation to IU. It’s a deeply meaningful addition to our collections of campus art, and I know that your quilt will inspire our student civic leaders – and the rest of us – for many decades to come!