Edwin Marshall receives IU President's Medal for Excellence

  • Sept. 16, 2013

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has presented the President’s Medal for Excellence to longtime IU faculty member and administrator Edwin C. Marshall, who recently retired after more than four decades of service to the university. The President’s Medal is the highest honor an IU president can bestow.

Marshall, one of the nation’s leading professors and scholars in the field of optometry, spent the last six years as IU’s vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs. During this time, enrollment of minority undergraduate students at IU increased from just over 14 percent of domestic enrollment when Marshall began in 2007 to nearly 20 percent at the end of 2012.

Marshall also directed the creation of diversity plans at all IU campuses, launched and led the President's University Diversity Initiative and  worked with the IU Bloomington provost to more than double the amount of scholarship funds available through the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program.

The presentation of the President’s Medal for Excellence was made during a special farewell reception for Marshall on Sept. 12 at the Indiana Memorial Union.

“Throughout his entire career, Ed has always reinforced inclusion and respect, and he has been a champion of equity for all students at Indiana University,” McRobbie said at the reception. “And, for the past six years as vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, Ed has been one of IU’s leading voices on vitally important issues related to diversity and equity.”

McRobbie praised Marshall for his service in the interest of public health. In 2002, Marshall became the first optometrist to be elected to serve as president of the Indiana Public Health Association. The following year, he became the first optometrist in the 132-year history of the American Public Health Association to be elected chair of the executive board. He is also a founding member of the Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association, the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world.

Marshall was instrumental in IU launching two new schools of public health last year: the Fairbanks School of Public Health on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, and the School of Public Health-Bloomington. Since 2009, he has served as chair of the IU Public Health Coordinating Council, which oversaw the planning for the development of the two schools.

Marshall has four degrees from IU: Doctor of Optometry, Master of Science, Bachelor of Science in optometry and Bachelor of Arts in zoology. In addition, he holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The President’s Medal for Excellence recognizes, among other criteria, distinction in public service, service to IU, and extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts, humanities, sciences, education and industry. The medal itself is a reproduction in silver of the symbolic jewel of office worn by IU's president at ceremonial occasions.

Edwin C. Marshall, left, receives the President's Medal for Excellence from IU President Michael A. McRobbie.

Edwin C. Marshall, left, receives the President's Medal for Excellence from IU President Michael A. McRobbie. | Photo by Indiana University

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