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

The International Center is Created

March 6, 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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“International Center Day” Proclaimed

September 29, 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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New logo Introduced

September 23, 1983
New logo Introduced

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

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First “International Citizen of the Year”

June 7, 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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Pan American Games in Indianapolis

August 7, 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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First Community Orientation Program for Expatriates

September 23, 1990
First Community Orientation Program for Expatriates

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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New Logo Introduced

September 23, 1991
New Logo Introduced

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

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Participation in Naturalization Ceremonies Begins

September 23, 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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“A Point of Departure”

September 24, 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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25th Anniversary

September 24, 1998
25th Anniversary

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

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Destination Services Created

September 24, 1999

“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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Programs and Services Expand

January 2, 2007
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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Flag Program Begins

March 17, 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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Re-branding, MOU with City is Signed

January 1, 2011
Re-branding, MOU with City is Signed

The Center sees big changes; a re-branding with new name and new logo, a memorandum of understanding 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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New Location

June 1, 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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Martin Baier Becomes CEO

January 3, 2017
Martin Baier Becomes CEO

Martin Baier is selected by The International Center’s Board of Directors as president and CEO, succeeding Diane Thomas.

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