Burnett’s education honor well deserved

Champions of education support ideas and efforts that will result in greater educational opportunities for students, and benefit communities in the process.

Such people value the various levels of learning, and the benefits derived by students.

They understand the relationship between attainment and one’s career prospects and quality of life.

Champions of education try their hardest to push the message that an education is a cornerstone for success, and do all they can to make that a possibility for everyone.

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John Burnett is one example of such a champion, and the award he received recently from Indiana University is a befitting honor.

IU President Michael McRobbie presented the IU President’s Medal for Excellence to Burnett, head of the Columbus-based Community Education Coalition, for years of relationship building between the university and city that have resulted in new college programs and greater opportunities for students.

Notably, Burnett’s leadership was instrumental in the creation of the IU Center for Art+Design in Columbus and IU’s new master’s program in architecture that’s located in downtown Columbus.

He also played a key role in fundraising for the creation of the Columbus Learning Center, IUPUC Center for Teaching and Learning and the Advanced Manufacturing Center for Excellence. Burnett also serves on IUPUC’s Board of Advisers.

As William B. Stephan, IU’s vice president of engagement noted during the award presentation, Burnett "expanded and strengthened higher education in Columbus."

That he has. The honor is richly deserved.