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A special guest made a stop in Jasper on Friday afternoon to tout the success of Indiana University.

IU president Michael McRobbie arrived at the Vincennes University Jasper Campus late Friday afternoon to meet with local media and IU alumni to discuss where the university stands and what it’s doing for the future.

McRobbie focused on several themes during his time in Jasper, including college affordability, IU’s new engineering program and the university’s bicentennial fundraising campaign. McRobbie says he remains concerned with keeping college affordable as many schools across the country struggle with that. However, he says IU is in great shape in that regard:

McRobbie also touted IU’s recent work in reducing student debt. Since the start of the 2012-2013 school year, the university has been sending out letters to students who borrow money to pay for college to tell them what their monthly payments would be after graduation and how much money they would owe. The result according to McRobbie has been a dramatic drop in borrowing among IU students and millions of dollars less in student debt.

McRobbie also took time to discuss the recent approval of an engineering program at IU. That program was approved back in April by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and will be hosted at the School for Informatics and Computing on the Bloomington campus.

McRobbie says the engineering program will play a critical part in helping development all over the state, particularly in southwestern Indiana:

The engineering program will begin taking students next school year. The first engineering graduates will come in 2020, which is IU’s 200th birthday.

Speaking of the university’s big birthday, McRobbie also discussed IU’s recently launched bicentennial fundraising campaign. He says the effort, which is known as ‘For All’, is part of a strong philanthropy base at IU and is another example of what he’s seen around the country:

The ‘For All’ campaign was launched late last month with a stated fundraising goal of $2.5 billion. The university has already raised more than half of that amount with the help of more than 200,000 donors.

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