Skip to content | Skip to search | Skip to navigation

History

Indiana's state government founded Indiana University in 1820 as the State Seminary, and officially changed the name to "Indiana University" in 1838.

Herman B Wells, the university's long-standing president (1938–1962) and chancellor (1962–2000), is credited for elevating the university's stature in research, the arts, and international studies. IU is now known around the world as one of the leading public research universities in the United States. The IU Bloomington campus continues to grow and make history every year.

1816
First constitution of Indiana adopted, providing for a general system of education ascending from township schools to a state university.
1818
State legislature establishes Monroe County and appoints commissioner to locate and name town where courthouse could be situated.
1820
January 20: Legislative act adopted establishing a state seminary (Founders Day).
Board of Trustees chooses location for seminary.
1822
Construction begins on Seminary Building and professor’s house.
1823
Baynard Rush Hall hired as first professor to teach in the seminary.
1824
Classes begin with an enrollment of 10 men, though Seminary Building not yet complete.
1825
Seminary Building completed.
1828
Legislative act adopted changing State Seminary to Indiana College.
1829
Andrew Wylie (1829–51) named first president.
1830
First graduating class.
Preparatory Department established (abolished 1890).
Construction of First College Building started at Seminary Square.
1836
First College Building finished.
1838
Legislative act adopted changing Indiana College to Indiana University.
1842
School of Law established (suspended 1877–89; revived February 15, 1889).
1852
Legislative act adopted recognizing Indiana University as “The University of the State.”
Alfred Ryors (1852–53) named second president.
1853
William Mitchell Daily (1853–59) named third president.
1854
First College Building destroyed by fire.
Indiana University Alumni Association founded.
1855
Second College Building constructed (used for Preparatory Department, 1885–90; sold to Bloomington School Board for use as a high school, 1897).
1859
Theophilus A. Wylie serves six months as acting president.
John Hiram Lathrop (1859–60) named fourth president.
1860
Cyrus Nutt (1860–75) named fifth president.
1865
IU president made a member-ex-officio of the State Board of Education.
1867
IU becomes one of the first state universities to admit women.
The Indiana Student (now the Indiana Daily Student) first published on Feb. 22.
Men’s baseball team becomes IU's first official athletic activity.
Legislative act begins annual appropriations.
1869
Sarah Parke Morrison becomes first woman graduate.
1874
Science Hall at Seminary Square completed (destroyed by fire in 1883).
1875
Lemuel Moss (1875–84) named sixth president.
1883
Charles Henry Gilbert becomes first to receive Ph.D. degree.
Following fire at Seminary Square, citizens of Monroe County pledge $50,000 to the university.
Dunn Woods, located east of downtown Bloomington, purchased from Moses F. Dunn.
First intercollegiate game (baseball) played by an IU team.
1884
Wylie and Owen Halls constructed on new campus (named University Park).
Elisha Ballantine named acting president.
1885
David Starr Jordan (1885–91) named seventh president.
Mitchell Hall (named Maxwell Hall until 1894) constructed on new campus.
1886
Men’s football team started.
Reorganization of curriculum to major subject and departmental basis.
1888
With the purchase of a chronoscope, future IU and American Psychological Association president William Lowe Bryan founded the oldest continuing psychology laboratory in the United States.
1890
Department of Physical Training for Women established, with gym in Wylie Hall.
Summer School established.
Library Hall (renamed Maxwell Hall in 1894) constructed.
Preparatory Department abolished.
1891
John Merle Coulter (1891–93) named eighth president.
Legislative act adopted providing for election by alumni of three trustees.
Department of Physical Training for Men established, with gym in Owen Hall.
First IU extension course offered in Indianapolis.
1892
Men’s Gymnasium completed (converted into a carpenter’s shop after 1896, razed in 1932).
IU wins Intercollegiate Baseball Championship series by a score of 13 to 11 against DePauw.
Arbutus, the campus yearbook, is first published.
1893
Joseph Swain (1893–1902) named ninth president.
“Hail to Old I.U.,” IU’s official alma mater, is first performed on March 10 by the IU glee club at a state contest in Indianapolis. The words were written by J. T. Giles, who organized the club, based on an old Scottish song.
1894
Kirkwood Hall constructed.
1895
Marcellus Neal becomes IU’s first black graduate with an A.B. in mathematics.
Trustees purchase 10 acres north and east of campus from Moses F. Dunn (Dunn cemetery excepted).
1896
Women’s Gym moved to Mitchell Hall.
Second Men’s Gymnasium constructed (renamed Assembly Hall in 1917; razed in 1938).
1898
Men’s basketball team started.
1900
Kirkwood Observatory constructed.
Wylie Hall partly destroyed by fire.
1902
William Lowe Bryan (1902–37) named tenth president.
Science Hall constructed (renamed Ernest Hiram Lindley Hall in 1957).
1903
School of Medicine established.
1904
Graduate School established.
1906
Student Building constructed with funds from private subscriptions.
Alpha Hall opens.
1907
Second Library Building completed (renamed Student Services Building in 1972, Joseph Amos Franklin Hall in 1988).
1908
School of Education established.
Theodore F. Rose Well House built with portals of the Second College Building.
June 19–24: Indiana University hosts “Gala Week,” its first homecoming event for alumni, including a circus and banquet.
1909
The Indiana Union for Men established.
“Gala Day” homecoming event moved to coincide with IU-Purdue football game.
1910
Biology Hall completed (renamed Swain Hall East in 1957).
Indiana University hosts Homecoming event for alumni in conjunction with IU-Illinois football game.
1912
Extension Division established (renamed Continuing Education in 1965, School of Continuing Studies in 1975).
“Indiana, Our Indiana,” the most recognized of IU’s fight songs, is first performed by the IU Band in November, at a football game against Northwestern. The song has since been played at every IU football and basketball game.
1914
Training School for Nurses established (renamed School of Nursing in 1956).
1917
Department of Military Science established.
Men’s gym completed.
1918
Campus was closed October 10–November 4 due to the Spanish Flu epidemic.
1920
School of Commerce and Finance established (renamed School of Business Administration in 1933, School of Business in 1938, Kelley School of Business in 1998).
1921
School of Music established.
Three-year Memorial Fund Campaign begins.
1923
Commerce Building constructed (renamed Business Administration Building in 1935, Social Science Building in 1941, William A. Rawles Hall in 1971).
1924
President’s house completed.
Washington Hall dormitory constructed (renamed South Hall in 1925, Ulysses H. Smith Hall in 1959).
1925
Women’s Memorial Hall completed.
Memorial Stadium (renamed Tenth Street Stadium in 1971) completed. The “Old Oaken Bucket” makes its first appearance during the IU-Purdue football game at which the stadium is dedicated. The stadium will be demolished in 1982 to make way for the construction of the Arboretum.
1928
Field House completed (renamed Ora L. Wildermuth Intramural Center in 1971).
1929
IU alumnus Hoagy Carmichael publishes “Stardust” at the age of 30.
1931
Chemistry Building completed.
Professor Rolla N. Harger invents the Drunk-O-Meter, the first successful machine for testing human blood-alcohol content. Harger later turns over the patent to the IU Foundation, for whom it becomes a surprise moneymaker.
1932
Indiana Memorial Union completed (additions made in 1939 and 1946), becoming the world’s largest college union building.
Men’s wrestling and track teams win NCAA championships.
1936
Administration Building (renamed William Lowe Bryan Administration Building in 1957), School of Music Building, and Forest Hall (renamed Goodbody Hall in 1962) completed. Alpha Hall (first women’s dormitory) purchased by the university (razed in 1961).
IU Foundation established.
1937
Herman B Wells named acting president.
School of Medicine Building in Bloomington completed (renamed Burton D. Myers Hall in 1958).
1938
Herman B Wells (1938–62) named eleventh president.
University School (renamed Wendell W. Wright School of Education Building in 1979) and Stores and Services Building (renamed Ernie Pyle Hall in 1954) completed.
John Bradford donates 900 acres of family land to IU. By 1956 the Bradford Woods outdoor center was enlarged to 2,300 acres.
Men’s cross country team wins NCAA championship.
1940
Beech (renamed Morrison Hall in 1942) and Sycamore Halls added to Memorial and Goodbody Halls to form Agnes E. Wells Quadrangle.
North Hall (renamed Cravens Hall in 1959) and West Hall (renamed Edmondson Hall in 1959) added to men’s residence complex (renamed Collins Living-Learning Center in 1981).
Construction of the Business and Economics Building (renamed Woodburn Hall in 1971).
Men’s basketball and cross country teams win NCAA championships.
1941
IU Auditorium completed.
IU Art Museum established.
One of the world’s first cyclotrons becomes operational at IU.
1942
Junior Division established (renamed University Division in 1970).
Professor Woodburn’s home on North College Avenue donated.
Men’s cross country team wins NCAA championship.
1944
IU bestows its first honorary doctorate on former student and Pulitzer Prize winner Ernie Pyle.
1945
School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation established.
IU wins Big Ten football championship.
1946
IU zoologist Hermann J. Muller wins Nobel Prize.
Several army buildings moved to campus for housing and classroom use. Dormitory unit completed (renamed John W. Ashton Center in 1980).
1947
Alfred C. Kinsey and his colleagues establish the Institute for Sex Research, now called the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.
Home of IU’s first president, Andrew Wylie, purchased (restored 1961–65).
1948
Alfred C. Kinsey and his co-researchers publish Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, which becomes a national bestseller.
America’s first degree-granting folklore program initiated.
Archives of Folk and Primitive Music founded (renamed Archives of Traditional Music in 1965).
East Hall constructed.
Link Observatory and income-producing property for its upkeep donated by Goethe and Helen Link.
1949
Geologic Field Station established in Cardwell, Montana, on 60 acres given by the state of Montana.
Men’s Quadrangle (renamed Joseph H. Wright Quadrangle in 1959) and University Apartments completed.
1950
IU Press established.
1951
IU holds first Little 500 bicycle race, which will become an annual tradition.
First pre-optometry courses offered in the fall.
1952
Indiana Memorial Union organization admits women for the first time.
1953
Men’s basketball team wins NCAA championship.
Alfred C. Kinsey and his co-researchers publish Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.
1954
One hundred twenty acres north of campus purchased from Faris estate.
1955
Married housing unit completed (renamed Hepburn, Nutt, Bicknell, and Banta apartments in 1959).
Jordan Hall of Biology and Smithwood Hall (renamed Daniel Read Hall in 1962) completed.
1956
Beck Chapel constructed and School of Law building completed.
Crest toothpaste, using a formula developed by three IU researchers, first sold nationally.
1957
Evermann Apartments completed.
1959
Ballantine Hall and Tower Quadrangle (renamed Nellie S. Teter Quadrangle in 1961) completed.
Biddle Continuation Center opens.
1960
Lilly Library opens as a storehouse of rare and precious books.
Seventeenth Street Football Stadium (renamed Indiana Memorial Stadium in 1971) and Athletic Field House completed.
Married Student Housing complex (renamed Redbud Hill Apartments in 1961) constructed.
1961
Graduate School of Business established.
Woodlawn Dormitories (Morgan, Brown, Monroe, and Green Halls) and Ruby C. Mason cooperative housing unit completed.
Showalter Fountain completed.
Men’s swimming team wins first of 20 consecutive Big Ten championships.
1962
Elvis Jacob Stahr Jr. (1962–68) named twelfth president.
Herman B Wells named university chancellor.
Fine Arts Building, Geology Building, Campus View Apartments, Residence Halls Administration Building, and Royer Pool completed.
IU alumnus James Watson becomes the youngest Nobel laureate ever, as he and two others are honored for discovering the structure of DNA.
1963
Aerospace Research Applications Center established under contract with NASA (moved to Indianapolis Center for Advanced Research at IUPUI in 1976).
Psychology Building, Administrative Services Building, Radio and Television Building, and John W. Foster Quadrangle completed.
Trustees designate Dunn Meadow the official campus site for open speech and debate.
1964
Paul V. McNutt Quadrangle and new University School completed.
1965
Wendell L. Willkie Quadrangle and Tulip Tree House completed.
1966
Graduate Library School established (renamed School of Library and Information Science in 1980).
School of Business Building, Student Health Center, and Forest and Herman T. Briscoe Quadrangles completed.
1967
University acquires 245 acres on Monroe Reservoir to house Biological Research Station.
1968
Herman B Wells serves as interim president. Joseph Lee Sutton (1968–71) named thirteenth president of Indiana University.
University’s 150th Birthday Fund Drive publicly announced.
Optometry Building and Speech and Hearing Building completed.
East Hall destroyed by fire.
Men’s swimming team wins NCAA championship.
Hoosier football team plays in Rose Bowl.
1969
John W. Snyder named acting chancellor of IU Bloomington from June to July. Byrum E. Carter becomes chancellor of IU Bloomington.
Third Library Building (known as Main Library until renamed for Herman B Wells in 2005) completed.
Second Library Building (now Franklin Hall) damaged by fire.
Men’s swimming team wins NCAA championship.
Eigenmann Graduate Residence Center completed.
1970
Sesquicentennial celebrated.
Credit Union Building completed.
Men’s swimming team wins NCAA championship.
1971
John W. Ryan (1971–87) named fourteenth president.
Assembly Hall, Musical Arts Center, Glenn A. Black Archaeological Laboratory, and Publications/Printing Services Building completed.
Metz Carillon donated by Arthur R. Metz Foundation.
Men’s swimming team wins NCAA championship.
Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) begins first intercollegiate competition for women.
1972
School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) established.
Poplars Hotel purchased and renamed Poplars Research and Conference Center.
Second Library Building renovated as Student Services Building (renamed Joseph Amos Franklin Hall in 1988).
Men’s swimming team wins NCAA championship. Team member Mark Spitz goes on to win seven gold medals at the Olympics. Coach Doc Counsilman leads both teams.
1973
Black Culture Center established.
Latino Cultural Center (La Casa) established.
Men’s swimming team wins NCAA championship.
1974
Bloomington re-organized as one of IU’s core campuses, along with Indianapolis. Title of “Chancellor” changed to “Vice President of the Bloomington Campus.”
Department of Journalism, established within the College of Arts and Sciences in 1911, becomes the School of Journalism.
IU Foundation constructs Showalter House.
IU offers first course on comic book history, taught by law student Michael Uslan, who will go on to produce the Academy Award–winning movie Batman in 1989, as well as subsequent Batman films.
African American Arts Institute founded by Herman Hudson as home for Soul Revue and the new African American Dance Company. African American Choral Ensemble founded the following year.
1975
Robert M. O’Neil appointed vice president of the Bloomington campus.
School of Optometry and School of Continuing Studies established.
1976
Men’s basketball team wins NCAA championship.
New IU Cyclotron Facility begins operation.
1977
New Geology Core Storage Building opens.
Andrew Wylie House entered on National Register of Historic Places.
1978
Animal Care Building completed.
Breaking Away filmed on campus. Alumnus Steve Tesich wins an Oscar for his screenplay.
1979
Music Practice Building completed.
Old Crescent buildings (Franklin Hall, Student Building, Maxwell Hall, Owen Hall, Wylie Hall, Kirkwood Hall, Lindley Hall, Rose Well House, and Kirkwood Observatory) listed on Indiana Register of Historic Places.
Football team wins Holiday Bowl.
1980
Kenneth R. R. Gros Louis appointed vice president of the Bloomington campus.
IU Visitor Information Center opens.
Old Crescent buildings placed on National Register of Historic Places.
1981
School of Music students present first performance by a university company at Metropolitan Opera House.
Little 500/Soccer Stadium opens (renamed Bill Armstrong Stadium in 1983).
Architect I.M. Pei completes the IU Art Museum.
Men’s basketball team wins NCAA championship.
1982
Memorial service held for composer and IU alumnus Hoagy Carmichael.
Composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein in residence as first fellow of Institute for Advanced Study.
William Hammond Mathers Museum, also known as the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, opens.
American Studies program in Yugoslavia (IU/Zagreb University) established.
Women’s tennis team wins AIAW championship.
Men’s soccer team wins NCAA championship.
1983
Institutes established for American Theatre Studies, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Materials Research.
Men’s soccer team wins NCAA championship.
1984
American Indian Studies Research Institute established.
1985
Campaign for Indiana begins public fund drive.
Malaysia Project established.
National Center for Excellence in Education funded with $6 million.
Transportation Center established.
1986
IU Foundation celebrates 50th anniversary.
Herman B Wells Program for Outstanding Young Scholars, a four-year scholarship program, announced. It is now known as the Wells Scholars Program.
Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation established.
Construction begins on addition to Chemistry Building.
1987
Thomas Ehrlich (1987–94) becomes fifteenth IU president.
Institute for the Study of Human Capabilities announced.
Men’s basketball team wins fifth NCAA championship.
Sample Gates dedicated.
1988
IU celebrates 150th anniversary of university status.
Title of “Vice President of the Bloomington Campus” changed to “Chancellor, Indiana University Bloomington.”
Hoosier football team wins the Liberty Bowl.
Men’s soccer team wins NCAA championship.
1990
School of Fine Arts renamed the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts.
The Student Building catches fire during renovations.
1991
First IU Dance Marathon held.
1994
Myles Brand (1994–2002) becomes IU’s sixteenth president.
School of Music graduate program ties for first place with Juilliard and Eastman in U.S. News & World Report ranking.
Professor of English Yusef Komunyakaa wins Pulitzer Prize for poetry.
Softball team wins its fifth Big Ten championship.
1995
Student Recreational Sports Center (SRSC) opens.
Bess Meshulam Simon Music Library and Recital Center opens.
1996
HEC approves Associate of Arts degree.
John Mellencamp Pavilion, the IU Advanced Research and Technology Institute, and the IU Research Park open.
Dalai Lama visits IU Bloomington.
Wylie Hall rededicated following completion of three-year renovation.
1997
Trustees approve observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, beginning in 1998.
Sears and IU School of Business establish Center for Education and Research in Retailing.
Price Waterhouse Center for Information Technology established at IU School of Business.
IU School of Business becomes IU’s Kelley School of Business, in honor of philanthropist and alumnus E. W. Kelley.
The Jack and Linda Gill Center for Instrumentation and Measurement Science established.
1998
IU and Microsoft form licensing agreement, making IU the first university in the United States to make Microsoft’s software available to students, faculty, and staff.
Asian Culture Center established.
Congress awards IU $1 million to establish the Midwest Proton Radiation Institute at the IU Cyclotron Facility.
Men’s soccer team wins NCAA championship.
1999
IU receives $30 million grant from Lilly Endowment for IT research initiative.
University Chancellor Herman B Wells named IU’s Man of the Century.
Establishment of School of Informatics approved.
Memorial fund established to honor graduate student Won Joon Yoon, who was shot and killed by white supremacist Benjamin Smith.
Men’s soccer team wins NCAA championship.
2000
University Chancellor Herman B Wells dies at 97.
Herman B Wells plaza dedicated.
IU partners with Sun Microsystems Inc. to create the Center for Excellence, offering researchers and students more powerful resources in the areas of high performance computing.
2001
Sharon Stephens Brehm installed as chancellor of IU Bloomington.
Kenneth R. R. Gros Louis named chancellor emeritus of IU Bloomington.
IU Bloomington named Time magazine’s College of the Year among research universities.
2002
Gerald Bepko named interim IU president after Myles Brand steps down to become the head of the NCAA.
Inaugural powwow held by First Nations at Indiana University.
Dedication of Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
Latino Faculty and Staff Council established.
Central Asia, Azerbaijan, and Afghanistan Language Resource Center (CAAALRC) established.
Dedication of Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility.
Kelley School of Business opens Graduate and Executive Education Center.
2003
Adam W. Herbert (2003–07) named seventeenth president of Indiana University.
Dedication of the School of Informatics building.
Coach Jerry Yeagley leads the Hoosier men’s soccer team to a sixth NCAA championship in his final season.
Kenneth R. R. Gros Louis appointed interim chancellor of IU Bloomington and interim senior vice president for academic affairs.
2004
Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute opens its doors to treat cancer patients (renamed IU Health Proton Therapy Center in 2011).
Intel names IU Bloomington the No. 1 wireless college campus.
IU partners with Bloomington and community leaders to open Inventure business incubator.
Global Village Living-Learning Center opens for students with international interests.
The Lilly Endowment Inc. gives $53 million for life sciences research, the largest grant IU Bloomington has ever received.
The Hoosier men’s soccer team wins second NCAA championship in a row, this time under new head coach Mike Freitag.
2005
Honors College renamed Hutton Honors College in honor of philanthropist Edward L. Hutton.
Main Library renamed Herman B Wells Library.
IU Bloomington named the “Hottest Big State School” by Newsweek, America’s Hot Colleges.
2006
IU’s supercomputer system, called “Big Red,” is ranked the fastest supercomputer owned and operated by a U.S. university and the 23rd fastest supercomputer in the world.
IU School of Music renamed Jacobs School of Music in honor of donors Barbara B. and David H. Jacobs.
IU Bloomington named “most wired” among public universities by PC Magazine.
2007
Michael A. McRobbie named eighteenth president of Indiana University.
Karen Hanson named Indiana University executive vice president and Bloomington provost.
President McRobbie’s inauguration and the cornerstone ceremony for the new Hutton Honors College building are two of many events held during IU’s first Celebrate IU week in October.
2008
Celebrate IU becomes a monthlong event.
IU School of Law—Bloomington is renamed Maurer School of Law in honor of donor Michael S. “Mickey” Maurer.
2009
Jacobs School of Music receives a gift from the family of Leonard Bernstein: the contents of his composing studio.
Dedication of the new Hutton Honors College building.
IU School of Optometry named national vision research center.
IU Professor of Political Science Elinor Ostrom awarded Nobel Prize in economic sciences.
2010
IU moved into the top 30 for the first time in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s rankings of the “100 Best Values in Public Colleges.”
IU’s Lilly Library celebrates its 50th anniversary with a collection of rare treasures, including William Shakespeare's First Folio and George Washington's letter accepting the presidency.
IU Bloomington libraries are named top in the country.
New microscope at IU Bloomington breaks light microscopy resolution barrier.
2011
IU Cinema is dedicated.
The School of Fine Arts Gallery (SoFA Gallery) is renamed the Grunwald Gallery of Art.
The world premiere of “Vincent” takes place at IU Opera Theater.
The IU community mourns the passing of President Emeritus John Ryan.
IU's African Studies Program celebrates its 50th anniversary.
9/11 Commission reconvenes on IU Bloomington campus.
Cyberinfrastructure Building dedicated.
2012
Indiana Geological Survey celebrates 175th anniversary.
IU 17th in the nation in Total Voluntary Support rankings.
Lauren Robel named provost and executive vice president.
Trustees approve new School of Global and International Studies, based in the College of Arts and Sciences.
IU Art Museum receives grant from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help endow its senior academic officer position.
School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation becomes IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.
Trustees approve merger of Schools of Informatics and Library and Information Sciences.
IU receives grant to establish university's first endowed chair in Korean studies.
Men’s soccer team wins NCAA championship.
2013
Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton named distinguished scholars and professors of practice in the School of Global and International Studies.
IU Baseball makes first trip to College World Series.

Campus Info

107 S. Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, IN
47405-7000
Phone: (812) 855-4848
Email: AskIU@iu.edu
Comments