Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Honoring the Ostroms

Yesterday afternoon the university held an official memorial honoring Vincent and Elinor Ostrom for their many contributions to IU, the wider academic community, and people throughout the world. It was a lovely event, featuring tributes by university administrators, faculty colleagues (not including your's truly - I was honored to serve on the planning committee for the event), former students, and a special tribute from Doug North, who was kind enough to drive (with his wife Elisabeth) over from St. Louis.

The Norths were thoughtful enough to stay through today's separate event, sponsored by the Workshop, at which approximately 100 Workshoppers, coming from as far away as Nepal, India, and South Korea specifically for the events, shared affectionate reminiscences about the Ostroms. It is stunning to realize just how many lives they touched, and how many minds they influenced, around the world during their lives. Immediately after the get together, everyone gathered outside the main Ostrom Workshop building to plant a 6-7 year old burr oak tree in their honor. The burr oak planting was organized by recent and current graduate students in the Workshop.

All in all, it was a lovely set of tributes. Lin and Vincent, I think, would have been gratified by the recognition and outpouring of affection (although Lin probably would have been abashed at all the to-do), but they might well have preferred a bit more contestation.

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