Robert E. Gates


Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1991)
B.S., 1942; LL.B., 1949; J.D., 1967
Z.G. Clevenger Award (1987)
B.S., 1942; LL.B., 1949; J.D., 1967
Fulbright Award (1971)
Fulbright IIE
Location: Austria


Robert E. Gates epitomized the true Hoosier: a grand mixture of love of his state, his country, his profession, and the people around him. During his undergraduate days at Indiana University, he was active as a student leader, eventually serving in the Navy during World War II, before returning to study for the L.L.B. degree.

Gates joined his family's law firm in Columbia City in 1949, and wholeheartedly participated in statewide cultural and civic activities, including serving as Indiana State Commander of the American Legion. As a descendant of a distinguished political family, he became fascinated by Hoosier politics. Gates served as 4th District Republican chairman for many years, and was a close personal friend and counselor to governors of the state. His ability as a facilitator has served Indiana University and higher education significantly.

Gates was an IU Trustee for 21 years, bringing to the Board his concerns for the University and its unique role in the state's education, economic, and cultural development. He also served on the boards of the IU-Purdue Foundation in Fort Wayne, and the IU Foundation in Bloomington.