Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor and former dean Gerald Bepko has received one of the university’s highest honors for his service.
Bepko was awarded the University Medal, a prestigious honor given only occasionally to individuals of unique accomplishment. Former IU president John Ryan created in the award in 1982 as a way to recognize people whose contributions are so singular that they do not fit easily within the characteristics of established honors.
“It is difficult to imagine the modern IUPUI campus without the vision of Professor Bepko,” said IU McKinney dean Andrew Klein. “His leadership at the McKinney School of Law, IUPUI and his role at IU is remarkable.”
Bepko is credited with leading the efforts to establish IUPUI as a major urban campus and establish IUPUI as an important component of central Indiana’s research corridor along with IU Bloomington and Purdue University in West Lafayette.
After joining the faculty at IU McKinney in 1972, Bepko became dean of the law school in 1981. He then served as IUPUI’s chancellor from 1986 to 2002. During this period, he led the movement to unify the programs academically and geographically by bringing all schools to the West Michigan Street campus and presiding over the construction of more than 20 buildings.
Enrollment grew by nearly 25 percent when Bepko was chancellor, and financial support for faculty activities topped $200 million in 2001-2002.
Currently, Bepko is chancellor emeritus and teaches commercial law and leadership and law at IU McKinney. He received the gold medallion at a special ceremony Oct. 13.