Naomi Osborne


IU East Chancellor's Medallion (1997)
IU East Chancellor's Medallion
Location: Richmond
Presenter: David Fulton


Naomi Osborne was a resident of Richmond, Indiana, an IU graduate in journalism and a collector of art. During World War II, she worked in the State Department and joined the United Nations in 1947 - just a year or two after it was founded. During her time with the U.N., Osborne worked on peacekeeping missions overseas in Gaza, Philippines, South Africa, the Caribbean, and other countries. This was also the time when she became passionate about art and collecting it as a way to support the local artists.

When she left the UN in the 1970s, she returned to her roots in Richmond, Indiana, to look after her mother. Dr. Wells convinced her to take action - this time as a public relations person for the newly founded IU East campus in 1971. When Osborne retired four or five years later, she moved into a small apartment in the Meadowood Retirement Community in Bloomington, Indiana. Her artwork went with her, but in the new apartment, it was under the bed, in the closet and hidden away, so she gave it to Indiana University East for the purpose of improving the art instruction at IUE by having these works to share with the students and the surrounding community.

Osborne received the 1997 Chancellor's Medallion from IUE, and has a scholarship for returning seniors in her honor at the university.