8 Great IU Assists

Four men wearing matching warm-up jackets stand shoulder to shoulder, smiling while holding up their Olympic gold medals.
Cody Miller (second from left), BS'14, displays his 2016 Olympic gold medal with U.S. swim teammates. (Photo: Getty Images)

Throughout its first two centuries, IU has had its fair share of internationally recognized heroes, innovators, and champions. But members of the IU family are also quick to assist in ways that don’t always earn the spotlight.

There was the literal assist from Daryl Thomas to Keith Smart, BGS’88, that set up “The Shot” to win the 1987 NCAA national championship game, a pass that Bob Knight called “the greatest single play I ever had a kid make.” There, too, was Cody Miller, BS’14, assisting the 2016 U.S. Men’s Olympic swim team in the 4×100-meter medley relay, swimming the breaststroke leg en route to the team taking gold.

And what about Bill Peet, BFA’36, the former IUPUI Jaguar who helped develop stories for 26 Disney films, including Pinocchio, Dumbo, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book? Or Howard Ashman, MA’74, who won five Grammys and two Academy Awards for co-writing classic Disney tunes like “Under the Sea,” “Be Our Guest,” and “Friend Like Me”? Speaking of Grammys, Laura Sisk, BS’10, won one for her sound engineering work on Taylor Swift’s 1989.

And let us not forget the IU faculty and alumni who have assisted with everything from the Iraqi constitution’s Bill of Fundamental Rights to the international response to the Ebola virus to the exploration of Mars.

We could go on, but that might seem immodest. Instead, we’ll simply spend our third century as we have our first two: helping everywhere—and in every way—we can.

This article was originally published in the fall 2020 issue of Imagine magazine.

Written By
A. Price
A resident of the Hoosier state since grade school, Alex forged a friendship with “tried and true” IU upon becoming a writer at the IU Foundation.