Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association

Reaching Out

An e-Newsletter by the IU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association

Celebration Weekend is Near!January, 2016
In This Issue
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We are looking forward to seeing you at our Eighth Celebration Weekend January 29-31 in Bloomington. All faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends are welcome! Please join us for this fabulous weekend and see for yourselves why IU once again is one of the "top 25" LGBT-friendly universities in the nation! 
The weekend will start at the Neal-Marshall Center on Friday, January 29 with welcoming comments and the presentation of our 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award.  Our recipient is announced below. The Grazie reception on Saturday, January 30 remains our main attraction.  You are able to donate for the purchase of "student" tickets to the Grazie reception and make reservations online at Reservations
Each year we have more alumni and friends from across the nation who join us for this special weekend.  Come have fun, see old friends, make new ones, discuss the latest developments in the state and beyond and share in the joy of all the progress we've made.  We look forward to greeting you and expressing our gratitude for your steadfast support to the GLBTAA, Indiana University and the LGBTQ community. 

        Mike Shumate, Past President
1. Eighth Celebration Weekend
All photos are from prior Celebration Weekends
The GLBTAA is proud to host our Eighth Celebration Weekend January 29-31. Coinciding with the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival, our Celebration Weekend offers faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends a wonderful schedule of diverse and fun-filled events throughout the last weekend in January. The main events are:
Reception in Grand Hall at Neal-Marshall Center
~ Friday, January 29, 2016, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
~ 275 N. Jordan Ave.
The Neal-Marshal Black Cultural Center serves as a bridge connecting Indiana University to Black culture and has a rich history in supporting IU's efforts in the recruitment and retention of Black students and in promoting knowledge and awareness of the Black experience. We are thrilled once again to be hosting our opening event here.  For more information about the Neal-Marshall Black
Cultural Center, please see  Center 

GLBTAA Annual Board Meeting
~ Saturday, January 30, 2016, 10:00 a.m. - noon
~ DeVault Alumni Center,1000 E. 17th St. (parking available in lot west of building)

Grazie! Reception                      
~ Saturday, January 30, 2016, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
~ Grazie! Italian Eatery, 106 W. Sixth St.
~ Cost is $20 per person, which includes a glass of wine
Please join us for an early evening of hors d'oeuvres, rainbow martinis, jazz piano and much, much more! What a great way to see old friends and make new ones before attending one of the films, or any other of the events, during this special Saturday evening. All net proceeds benefit our various GLBTAA events, programs and scholarships. If you wish, you may contribute for one or more Grazie tickets for IU students. The GLBTAA Board will administer the distribution of all such donated tickets to students. Reservations and contributions for student tickets can now be made online at Reservations 

2. GLBTAA  2016 Distinguished Alumni Award 


Michael T. McRaith


The GLBTAA Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented to members of the LGBTQ community and individual allies or supporters of the LGBTQ community, regardless of sexual orientation. Only living alumni of Indiana University are eligible. Nominees shall have been outstanding in their fields of endeavor and shall have made significant contributions benefiting Indiana University or their communities, states or the nation. We are pleased to announce the following  recipient of our 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. 

Michael T. McRaith
has early on made extraordinarily impressive marks as a private lawyer, public servant and tireless volunteer to his various communities. He earned national prominence in Chicago practicing commercial litigation for fifteen years before serving as the Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, where he led the charge for extended consumer protections and parity. Since his appointment in 2011 by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, he has served as the inaugural Director of the Federal Insurance Office, where he continues his passion and commitment to the American public. Among the many accolades surrounding his federal appointment, the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers commented "..Mike was probably the most unique person qualified to fill the job, because he equally draws respect from fellow state regulators and those of us who would like to see a more assertive federal preemptive regime." Throughout his career, he has been a steadfast supporter of the LGBTQ community. After serving nearly a decade on the Board of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, he was recently designated Director Emeritus.

McRaith received his BA in 1986 in English and Psychology from IU Bloomington and his JD in 1990 from Loyola University of Chicago. While on the Bloomington campus, he was active in student government and his fraternity Kappa Sigma. He testified before the Indiana legislature in favor of the state's anti-hazing laws which were subsequently ratified. Following law school, he practiced law in Chicago, where he gradually specialized in insurance and related matters representing financial institutions and insurers. He became partner at McGuire Woods, LLP.

Following his success as an insurance specialist, in 2005 McRaith was appointed Director of Insurance for the State of Illinois, becoming the first openly-gay state insurance commissioner in national history. His tenure there lasted six years during which he accomplished many important deeds, which have been heralded as strengthening protections for consumers while creating economically viable plans for insurers. He continued to expand his own stellar reputation as a model public servant, who is a smart, dedicated, principled, focused and compassionate consensus-builder, while ever committed to the end objective.

Throughout his meteoric rise in both the private and public sectors, he has made the time to "give back" and to play his favorite sport - basketball. Among volunteering in a number of capacities in the LGBTQ movement for equality, he has continued his long-term support of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Additionally, he has devoted countless hours to the Chicago Chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. McRaith's efforts were also critically important in the beginning of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. His support remains steady and resolute. As an openly-gay man from the onset, McRaith was willing to assist with the early sessions that led to the creation of the Victory Fund Institute held in Chicago. His example of being open and proud has undoubtedly boosted the ever-growing acceptance of the candidacy for public office by members of the LGBTQ community. His handprints are also all over Chicago's gay basketball league. He was an active player from 1991 through 2011, including overseeing the league for six years. During his leadership, the league grew to three divisions and tripled in size, encouraging the participation of more players of all skill levels, ages, races and socio-economic backgrounds. Chicago's league remains one of the largest in the world and one of McRaith's passionate interests. He has remained engaged with IU, and in particular the College of Arts and Sciences. Most recently he has volunteered with the College's Luminaries Program, a student/alumni mentorship program.

Based on his proven record of achievement, character and leadership, in 2011 McRaith was appointed as Director of the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), under the
 federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank). The FIO is housed within the U.S. Department of Treasury. The FIO's authorities extend to all lines of insurance, other than health insurance, long-term care insurance and crop insurance. The FIO is charged with monitoring all aspects of this defined insurance sector, including identifying activities within the sector that could potentially contribute to a systemic crisis to the broader financial system and monitoring the extent to which under-served communities have access to affordable insurance products. McRaith, as Director, also serves (i) as a non-voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and (ii) represents the United States at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), the global standard-setter for the insurance sector. McRaith serves on the IAIS Executive Committee and as Chair of its Financial Stability and Technical Committee. In addition, the FIO is tasked with assisting the Secretary of the Treasury in a number of designated areas.

We remember when our country faced an economic crisis of epic proportions not seen since the Great Depression, and the insurance and financial sectors were on the verge of collapse. McRaith's appointment was not only timely, but also crucial to restoring regulatory credibility and the public's confidence in the system.

Please join us on Friday, January 29 to extend congratulations to Mr. McRaith and to enjoy an evening of festivities and fun at the Neal-Marshall.


3. Facebook


The GLBTAA has had a Facebook page for some time now, but some of you may not be aware of it.  If you haven't already done so, check out our Facebook page at  "Like" our page and follow our Facebook posts regarding news, updates and information about our events.


Like us on Facebook

4. GLBTAA Scholarships


GLBTAA Academic Scholarships  Academic Scholarships are awarded to IU students enrolled at any IU campus, who are academically strong, as well as active in promoting diversity, tolerance and social justice. Scholarships are awarded to students based upon academic achievement, career goals, financial need, leadership experience, community service and extracurricular activities. Involvement in activities promoting diversity and raising awareness of GLBT and related issues on the student's campus or in his or her community is carefully reviewed by the Board. The maximum award for an Academic Scholarship is $1,000 per semester. An individual student may not receive more than $2,000. The deadline for the Fall 2016 semester is April 15, 2016.


IU GLBTAA Emergency Scholarships
Emergency Scholarships are awarded to those students who experience the loss of financial support when they make the courageous decision to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity to their families. Emergency Scholarships help to ensure that students need not choose between their education at IU and living life openly and honestly. Emergency Scholarships are awarded to students attending any IU campus. The maximum award for an Emergency Scholarship is $1,500 per semester, and a student may not receive more than $3,000.
You can learn more about the GLBTAA Scholarship Program and apply online at:


5. Membership


Encourage your friends to join the GLBTAA. They can visit our website here  and join.  There are no membership dues, and you do not have to be a member of the IUAA, or an IU degree-holder. We are approaching 1,600 members nation-wide, and we're growing! We appreciate your continued commitment! It is because of you that the GLBTAA is in existence, continues to grow and continues to serve our important mission on all eight of IU's campuses. If you are a member and wish to continue receiving our e-Newsletters, please make sure we have a current e-mail address for you.   You can visit to see if your official record, including your e-mail address, is current.  Thank you for your support through your membership. We look forward to serving you now and in the years to come. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Clarence Boone, Alumni Relations Officer, at: [email protected] or Mike Shumate at [email protected]


If not already a member, please consider joining the IUAA by visiting, by [email protected]  or calling (800) 824-3044. By joining the IUAA, among many other things, you help fund the various GLBTAA programs, along with gaining access to IUAA member-only events.


If you would like to unsubscribe and terminate future communications from the GLBTAA, please respond to:  [email protected].