Influential person: Gerald Bepko

IUPUI chancellor

Gerald Bepko, who served as IUPUI’s chancellor from 1986 to 2002, played a pivotal role in turning the school into a key selling point for companies seeking to make Indianapolis home. He worked tirelessly to unify the university’s various programs at its West Michigan Street campus, including relocating the Purdue University School of Science, the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, and the Indiana University Herron School of Art & Design. During his tenure, enrollment grew roughly 25%.

Bepko didn’t hesitate to personally demonstrate his commitment to bringing high-tech education to the city. He helped set up one of the first off-campus classrooms for serial tech entrepreneur David Becker. “He showed his passion and understanding of this new learning opportunity by stating that he would ‘drive students to class if he had to,’” Becker recalled. “He was truly an out-of-the-box thinker and a man ahead of his time.”

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