IU's First Lady

Laurie Burns McRobbie

Hello and welcome, I’m Laurie Burns McRobbie and I am honored to serve Indiana University as first lady. Since July of 2007, I have had the good fortune to meet and interact with faculty and staff, students and alumni, donors, and community leaders across IU’s seven campuses and beyond. This website showcases some of the organizations I’ve engaged with and through which I’m able to contribute to IU and the surrounding community. You’ll also find a history of IU’s first ladies who have served before me, as well as highlights of the many programs and events that have helped shaped the university leading up to its bicentennial in 2020. As we move into IU’s third century, I hope you find this site useful in your own exploration of this great university.

Read the First Lady's biography

Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

In honor of Women’s Equality Day and the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie details the trials and tribulations faced by women as they led the suffrage movement. We need to remember these women and thousands of others who, for more than 80 years, simply did not stop advocating and agitating to be able to exercise that most basic of rights in a democracy – the vote. Read the full essay


For inquiries, please contact Haley Garl Hatton at (812) 856-7288 or hgarl@iu.edu

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Initiatives and activities

Inspired by research on women’s philanthropic power, Laurie Burns McRobbie founded Women’s Philanthropy at Indiana University in 2010 and established the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council, which serves as the governing council of Women’s Philanthropy at IU. WPLC members advise the IU Foundation on programming and activities designed to engage alumnae and friends to areas of passion within Indiana University.

At the heart of the Women’s Philanthropy program are annual grant awards that support students, faculty, and staff across all of IU’s campuses. The WPLC reviews and awards applicants whose projects advance the work of IU, with an emphasis on women’s leadership, improving public health, providing global experiences to students, STEM initiatives, and increasing opportunities for diverse populations. Since the first grant cycle in 2012, the WPLC has awarded 107 grants totaling more than $1,000,000 across IU’s campuses.

For more information, visit the Women's Philanthropy Website.


Since becoming First Lady of Indiana University, Laurie Burns McRobbie has been busy giving speeches across the university and the IU community. Below is a listing of archived speeches from her time as First Lady.