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Our History

50 years (and many more)

Like all good things, IUPUI didn’t happen overnight. Its history goes back at least seven decades earlier to 1891, when Indiana University offered classes in Indianapolis for the very first time.

In the decades that followed, both IU and Purdue brought programs to Indianapolis in the liberal arts, sciences, and medicine; however, they operated on their own terms until 1968, when the mayor at that time, Richard Lugar, called for a “great state university in Indianapolis.”

Our story begins the following year, in 1969.

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IUPUI is established

Indiana University and Purdue University merge their many programs and schools to create IUPUI.

The Hine Era

Maynard K. Hine. Black and white portrait.

The Hine Era

Maynard K. Hine, D.D.S., becomes the first chancellor.

Defining the urban university

Defining the urban university

In the early 1970s, then-Chancellor Hine compiled a list of all community engagement activities from each school at IUPUI. This shaped IUPUI’s attitude and mission to serve Indianapolis.

Our first graduates

A stadium packed with IUPUI's first graduates in caps and gowns. Color photo.

Our first graduates

IUPUI holds its first commencement, granting 1,535 degrees.

Celebrating MLK

IUPUI’s Black Student Union organizes the first recognition event in memory of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of activities.

Law school moves

IU School of Law–Indianapolis moves onto the IUPUI campus.

Indy meets Columbus

IUPUI begins sending faculty to Columbus, Indiana, to teach a select number of courses. Over the years, more courses are added to the Columbus curriculum, and some IUPUI faculty move to Columbus to teach full-time.

Normal to extraordinary

Rows of students sitting on mats practice gymnastics. Black and white photo.
Students sitting at wooden desks take a test in the German House gymnasium, home of the Normal College. Color photo.
Female students at the Normal College swing medicine balls between two people with ropes. Black and white photo.

Normal to extraordinary

The Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union was a school where young men and women learned to be physical education teachers. The college was based on the principles of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn and was associated with the Turnverein. It moved to Indianapolis from Milwaukee in 1907 and was located in The German House (Das Deutsche Haus). Students at the college took classes not only in physical exercise but also in the sciences (such as anatomy and physics), humanities (history and literature), and fine arts (singing and dancing). In 1941 the Normal College became affiliated with Indiana University. Renamed the Indiana University School of Physical Education in 1973, it is the oldest continuously operating school of physical education in the country.

Hot off the press

Two students and an advisor hold previous campus newspapers, The Component and Onomatopoeia, as well as the new Sagamore student publication. Black and white photo.
A students sits while reading the Sagamore newspaper. Black and white photo.
A reporter for the Sagamore types at a computer. Black and white photo.

Hot off the press

The campus student newspaper, The Sagamore, is first published. It is predated by newspapers of the merged campuses: Onomatopoeia for the Downtown Campus of Indiana University–Indianapolis, and The Component for the Purdue University–Indianapolis Extension, later 38th Street campus.

The undergraduate campus

Undergraduate campus opens, consisting of Cavanaugh Hall, Lecture Hall, and University Library.

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