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.

  • 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.

  • September 29, 1974

    "International Center Day" is 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.

    September 29, 1974

  • September 23, 1983

    New logo introduced

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

  • June 7, 1985

    First "International Citizen of the Year"

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

    June 7, 1985

  • August 7, 1987

    Pan American Games held in Indianapolis

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

  • 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.

    September 23, 1990

  • September 23, 1991

    New logo 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.

  • 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.

    September 23, 1992

  • 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.

  • September 24, 1998

    25TH ANNIVERSARY

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

    September 24, 1998

  • September 24, 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.

  • January 2, 2007

    Programs & Services Expanded

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

    January 2, 2007

  • March 17, 2010

    Flag Program established

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

  • 2011

    Big Changes for The Center

    The Center sees big changes: a rebrand with a 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.

    2011

  • June 1, 2013

    New location

    After moving offices 7 times over the course of 30 years, The International Center finds its current home at the Regions Bank Building.

  • 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.

    January 3, 2017

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