The University of Indianapolis and Ancestry.com announced a joint effort that will provide the first of its kind collaboration by the family history giant with a university, "encouraging students to explore and reflect on how their family history impacts their identity". This is really great to see, and that it applies to the whole university (students, faculty and staff). Hat tip to Ron Darrah's IndyGenealogy and Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter for reporting the announcement.
I have a personal connection to the University of Indianapolis as I trained at the campus pool during several summers in the 1990s while home from college, and had many swim meets over the college years at U of I. Several cousins graduated from there as well. It's a nice campus on the southside of Indianapolis.
The U of I and Ancestry project is the type of thing I wish had been available when I was in college. I've written about this before, but I had no idea during my 4 years of college in Crawfordsville, Indiana that I had deep roots just a few miles from campus. If I had known about this information back then, I could have spent more time researching and exploring this heritage that was right at my doorstep (and it really was, the Montgomery County Library is a block from my old fraternity house).
The speaker series also ties in the family history theme. This should be very enlightening for the U of I community. I hope this is a sign of future partnerships between Ancestry (and other similar providers), universities, colleges and even secondary schools. This is a great way to encourage the younger generation to look at their family history, and also provides an opportunity for those who take advantage of the tools to reflect on their past and learn in ways that they may never have expected. Kudos to U of I for pulling this together.