History

The International Center was originally formed to provide interpreters and translators for the NATO Conference of Mayors held in Indianapolis in 1973. Interested citizens recognized the need to extend The Center’s role on an ongoing basis, supporting international visitors, instilling appreciation of the state’s multicultural populations and enhancing awareness of international issues.

In the four decades since its inception, The Center has witnessed and contributed to the state’s unprecedented international growth.

1973

1973

The International Center is Created The International Center is created under Robert G. Nelson, president. Then called The International Center of Indianapolis or “ICI”. Pictured: The Center’s original location, 1050 West 42nd Street, artwork by K.P.Singh.

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1974

1974

“International Center Day” Proclaimed On September 29, 1974, “International Center Day” is proclaimed to by Mayor Richard Lugar to “bring together people of all nationalities, races and cultures” in Indianapolis in conjunction with the first “International Mela”. Pictured: a proclamation from Mayor Richard Lugar.

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1983

1983

New logo Introduced The International Center adopts a new logo to symbolize a helping hand of friendship and peace.

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1985

1985

First “International Citizen of the Year” Riad Shaheen is honored as The Center’s first International Citizen of the Year.

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1987

1987

Pan American Games in Indianapolis The International Center helps to organize interpretation services for the 1987 Pan American Games, including the participation of 900 interpreters.

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1990

1990

First COPE Program Introduced The Community Orientation Program for Expatriates (COPE) is introduced by The Center. Pictured: The first COPE group, made up of Lilly International spouses and families as they take a tour of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

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1991

1991

New Logo Introduced The Herron School of Arts designs a new logo for The Center.

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1992

1992

Participation in Naturalization Ceremonies Begins The Center begins the tradition of presenting an American flag to the eldest citizen being naturalized at each naturalization ceremony in memory of former board member, Toni Cordingley. Pictured: The Center’s former executive director, Barbara Graham presents a flag to a newly naturalized citizen at the 1992 International Festival.

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1994

1994

“A Point of Departure” The International Center presents “A Point of Departure: Status of International Service Organizations in Indiana” to Lilly Endowment in order to assess critical issues on the Indiana international scene, helping to give direction to the organization’s mission for the next 20 years.

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1998

1998

25th Anniversary The Center celebrates its 25th anniversary, produces a video documentary “Indianapolis, a City of Many”.

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1999

Destination Services Created “Destination Services” now called “Relocation Services” is created within The International Center to help settle and relocate international professionals and their families in Indianapolis.

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2007-2008

2007-2008

Programs and Services Expand Under the direction of President & CEO, Diane Thomas, The International Center significantly expands its programs and services to include the Office of Protocol, Global Competency Training, OPIE and the internship program.

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2010

2010

Flag Program Begins In a special service, IUPUI gifts The Center with their collection of flags, marking the beginning of the present day Flag Program.

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2011

2011

Re-branding, MOU with City is Signed The Center sees big changes; a re-branding with new name and new logo, an MOU with the City of Indianapolis is signed signifying The Center as a core provider of protocol services, and the Festival Fund is established with a grant from the Indianapolis Foundation.

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2013

2013

New Location After moving offices 7 times over the course of 30 years, The International Center finds a new home at the Regions Bank Building.

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2014

2014

China Project Office is Created The Center creates the China Project office to enrich local and global engagement and understanding about Chinese culture and business.

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