Indiana State University

Indiana State University
Former names
Indiana State Normal School
Indiana State Teachers College
Indiana State College
Type Public
Established 1865 (details)
Endowment $56.5 million[1]
President Daniel J. Bradley[2]
Academic staff
Students 13,584[4]
Undergraduates 11,257+
Postgraduates 2,327+
Location Terre Haute, Indiana, U.S.
Campus small city: 235 acres (0.95 km2)
Colors Sycamore blue and White
Athletics Sycamores
Mascot Sycamore Sam
Affiliations NCA, AASC, AACSB, NCAA Division IMVC

Indiana State University (ISU) is a public university located in Terre Haute, Indiana, United States. It is an independent public university founded in 1865 that offers over 100 majors.[5] The university has a broad range of graduate offerings in a number of fields.[6] Indiana State is classified by the a Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Doctoral/Research University.[7]

The Princeton Review has named Indiana State as one of the "Best in the Midwest" 13 years running,[8] Washington Monthly ranks Indiana State University number 20 overall among all national universities, number 2 in community service by students, and #1 in overall service learning.[9] Both the Princeton Review and US News have ranked the Scott College of Business as one of the top business schools for its class.[10]

ISU is noted for its focus on public service, has been a member of the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and was named the national Non-profit Leadership Campus of the Year in 2013.[11] It is a member of the College Consortium of Western Indiana. This membership allows students who are full-time at their home institution to take classes at the other member institutions of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.


Fairbanks Hall Dome

Indiana State University was established by the Indiana General Assembly on December 20, 1865, as the Indiana State Normal School in Terre Haute. As the State Normal School, its core mission was to educate elementary and high school teachers. The school awarded its first baccalaureate degrees in 1908 and the first master's degrees in 1928. In 1929, the Indiana State Normal School was renamed the Indiana State Teachers College, and in 1961, was renamed Indiana State College due to an expanding mission. In 1965, the Indiana General Assembly renamed the college as Indiana State University in recognition of continued growth.


Rankin Hall

The Indiana State University main campus is located on the north side of Terre Haute’s downtown business district and covers more than 200 acres (0.81 km2) in the heart of the city. Over 60 brick and limestone buildings and laboratories comprise the main campus. Starting in the 1960s and continuing through the 1990s, ISU lost many of its historic buildings, but efforts to beautify the campus continue: a section of Seventh Street that runs by the university has been converted into a boulevard with flower beds and antique light posts; the old power plant was razed in 2002 and replaced with a modern facility;[12] Stalker Hall reopened in fall 2005 after a complete renovation;[13] Normal Hall, a Neo-Classic building erected in 1909, originally served as the library, and is line for renovation in 2011-12.[14] In 2009, the university dedicated a more than 109,000-square-foot (10,100 m2) Student Recreation Center, financed via private funding and student fees. Also in 2009, the College of Education was relocated to the newly renovated, historic University Hall.[15] The Scott College of Business has relocated to the renovated former Terre Haute Federal Building, a classic Art Deco building erected in 1933.[16]

The Indiana State University field campus is an outdoor teaching, learning, and research area designed to accommodate educational programs and services. The field campus is located on 93 acres (380,000 m2) approximately 18 miles (29 km) east of Terre Haute near Brazil, Indiana, and includes eight man-made lakes.[17]

Fairbanks Hall

Fairbanks Hall serves as both a working art studio as well as gallery space for the art department of Indiana State University. Originally built as a Terre Haute public library in 1903-06; it is an outstanding example of Beaux-Arts architecture and constructed entirely from Indiana Limestone.[18]

In 1903, Mr. Fairbanks offered to construct a new public library on a site the city would provide; it was to be named in honor of his mother Emeline Fairbanks. Terre Haute acquired a parcel of land at Seventh and Eagle Streets by May 5, 1903, the groundbreaking took place on March 15, 1904. On August 10, 1904, the cornerstone was placed. A timecapsule containing the history of the building, as well as a list of city and university officials, photographs of the namesake Fairbanks family, a copy of the program for the ceremony, copies of the city's newspapers and a 1904 Terre Haute city directory.

The informal opening and dedication of the completed building was April 29, 1906. On Saturday, August 11, 1906, a formal ceremony to open the building to the public was held, the following Monday, the Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library opened to the general public.

In 1978, Indiana State University took ownership and following its renovation, it was named Fairbanks Hall in honor of the prominent Terre Haute businessman and philanthropist, responsible for its original construction, Mr. Crawford Fairbanks.

As part of the new Indiana State Master Plan,[19] Fairbanks Hall will receive a comprehensive study to determine a new use of the space. It is a historically significant structure and will continue to be used by the University.

Normal Hall

Originally built as the library in 1909, Normal Hall is the last remaining structure from Indiana State’s Normal School era.[20] Normal Hall served as the university library until ‘Cunningham Memorial Library’ was built in 1974 and named in honor of Indiana State’s first Librarian, Mr. Arthur Cunningham (1891-1928). On the centennial of Normal Halls construction, it was announced that it would be fully remodeled and will become a student academic honors center.[21] Pg.3-5 The 2014-15 renovation will be approximately $16,000,000; the original grand staircase and a stained-glass dome featuring images of at least 24 educators and philosophers will be restored; in addition, the building will meet the full compliance of the ADA requirements.[22]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.[23]

University Hall

The Indiana State Teacher's College Laboratory School was a PWA-funded project. The land was donated to the University by the City of Terre Haute. The initial wing of the building was completed in July, 1935. The Sycamore Theater and a gymnasium were completed in 1937 through funding provided by an additional PWA grant. Terre Haute-native Gilbert Brown Wilson added several murals to the interior. The laboratory school used to operate as a unit of the Vigo County School Corporation. In 2008-09, it was renovated at a cost of $29.8M and became the new home of the Bayh College of Education.[24]

2010 Master Plan

Dede Plaza
Student Recreation Center

On December 18, 2009; the Indiana State University Board of Trustees accepted a new Master Plan, This plan will guide the physical growth and development of the Indiana State University campus for the next 15 to 20 years. It provides a blueprint for campus improvements in the near and mid-term and an overriding philosophy for the long term. Primary components of the plan include: • Meeting the functional needs of academic programs within the current facility square footage. • Improving student housing choices. • Serving as a partner and catalyst to the redevelopment of downtown Terre Haute. • Improving vehicular and pedestrian circulation systems and wayfinding. • Supporting the redevelopment of the Wabash Riverfront. • Providing athletic facilities that are competitive with peer institutions • Responding to contemporary and practical sustainable design practices.[25]



In 2010, Indiana State had a student body with 3.8% of students attending as international students and 19.5% of students belonging to a minority. Of the 19.5% minority students, 75.4% are African American, 8.3% are multiracial, 8.3 percent are Hispanic and Latino American, 5.8 percent are Asian American, and 2.1 percent are Native American.[26]

Indiana State is the first public university in Indiana to require incoming freshmen to have a laptop. ISU offers Lenovo Thinkpad T430u laptops to incoming freshmen with high school GPAs of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) as part of its Laptop Initiative.[27]

Colleges and school

ISU offers more than 90 programs in the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Technology, and Health and Human Services. The College of Graduate and Professional Studies offers programs that lead to doctoral and master's degrees. Students can also pursue certificates in a concentrated area of study, enroll in professional development courses, and fulfill continuing education requirements.

University rankings
Forbes[28] 640
U.S. News & World Report[29] RNP
Washington Monthly[30] 20

Indiana State University is organized into six academic colleges:


The Cunningham Memorial Library collections include more than 1.3 million items. Undergraduate students may check out most materials for a three-week loan period, using their student ID. The library is part of the Library Consortium of Vigo County. Through a search engine called Fusion, students may search through 400,000 records found in the library catalogs for the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and the Vigo County Public Library.[31]

More than 110 full-time service computers are available throughout the library. Nine computers are equipped with scanners and one computer has ZoomText capabilities that enlarges print and screen and reads aloud for the visually challenged. New furniture, computer hardware, and software enable groups of students to collaborate electronically. Printers and photocopiers are also available. Collaborative, group, and individual study areas are offered as well as group study rooms. One study area is dedicated to adaptive technology, which includes a Braille display, a reading machine,a special individual monitor for people with retinal degenerative diseases, a head tracker, a multi-colored QWERTY layout with keys four times larger than normal, a voice-to-text program, and software to help people who struggle with reading.[32]


Indiana State University as a whole has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools continuously since 1915.[33] The College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The School of Music is accredited by National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The nursing programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing[34] (ACEN). The Bachelor in Social Work program and the Master in Social Work program are both accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Undergraduate Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The Graduate Athletic Training program is accredited by the National Athletic Trainers' Association-Graduate Review Committee (NATA-PPEC). The Physical Education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

ISU is also included in Carnegie's new Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships category that recognizes substantial commitments to both an academic approach to mutually beneficial and respectful community collaboration and extensive outreach and partnerships.[35]

University traditions

Donaghy Day

Named for Fred Donaghy, graduate of the Normal School (1912) and a professor of life sciences, this tradition was initiated in 1976 as a day set aside for the community to celebrate the season and to work to help beautify the campus and surrounding community; Donaghy Day is now conducted during the first week of the fall semester and is used to acquaint new students with the university's commitment to community engagement.[36]


The term Homecoming was first used in print announcements for the Alumni-Varsity Basketball Game on December 9, 1916. By 1919, this event became known as Blue and White Day and featured dances and entertainment for alumni of the Normal School. In 1921 the events were organized around a football game scheduled earlier in the autumn. A bonfire and pep rally were added to the festivities in 1922; the Blue-and-White Parade in 1923; and in 1937, Bette Whitmore (Kappa Kappa) was elected ISU¹s first Homecoming Queen.[36]

Founders Day

Conducted in January or February of each year, this event commemorates the opening of the institution in 1870 when 23 students presented themselves to a faculty of three on the first day of classes at the Indiana State Normal School.[36]


The school has had two mascots.[36] Early on in the school's history, the athletes were referred to as the "Fighting Teachers", until the students chose the name "Sycamores", from the abundance of Sycamore trees in Indiana and especially in the Wabash River Valley; though it is believed that the students voted on 'Sycamores' on a lark, never thinking it would win. During the 1950s and 60s, the sycamore tree itself was used as Indiana State's mascot. However, as a tree does not lend itself well to an athletic mascot, especially considering Indiana State's in-state rivalries with the Ball State Cardinals and Butler Bulldogs, the university created an Indian mascot named Chief Quabachi, and his Princess, in 1969. This change paid homage to the fact that ISU was the "State" university of a state named after Indians (prior to statehood Indiana was primarily inhabited by Indians). However, the university stopped using Chief Quabachi as a mascot in 1989. For six years, Indiana State did not have a mascot, until 1995, a blue-and-white "furry woodland creature" named "Sycamore Sam" was developed to replace Chief Quabachi and continues to serve as Indiana State's mascot.


Tandem race

This student-organized race was first run as part of Spring Week activities in 1970. Teams are coed mixed pairs, which compete on tandem bicycles.[36]


The Indiana State Tricycle Derby was first run in 1963 as a 10-lap race around the sidewalks of the Quadrangle on children's tricycles.[36] The races featured a men's and women's division (the Powder Puff Derby). The races now feature men's and women's teams racing on specially built tricycles at the new Recreation East complex at Ninth and Sycamore streets. In October 2005, the Michael Simmons Student Activity Center opened at Rec East, featuring commemorative displays chronicling the history and the participants of trike and tandem, containing bleacher seating, an all-purpose room, restrooms, an observation deck, and storage.

The Walk

The official tradition during homecoming is known as "The Walk (Indiana State)." A large number of students, typically reaching in the thousands, make the two mile (3 km) walk east on Wabash Avenue towards the Football Stadium stopping and having a drink at each bar along the way. In 2010, the university launched “SoberRide” and “Designated Walker” programs for homecoming.[37]

The Walk can be traced back to the early 1980s when students walked from Saturday night football games back to campus, stopping for a beer at every establishment that served beer on Wabash.


Fight song

Marching Sycamores

March On! (You Fighting Sycamores), the university’s fight song, was authored and arranged by Joseph A. Gramelspacher, an ISU professor of music, as a pep song. It was first performed at a homecoming eve pep rally on October 20, 1939.

Before March On!, the school's fight song was Cheer for the Blue and White, composed in 1931 as part of the Indiana State Teachers College song contest.

In addition to The Marching Sycamores (Pride of Indiana) the School of Music provides these other Ensembles available for music students to participate in as part of the well established School of Music: Concert Band, Jazz Combos, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Steel Drum Band, University Symphony, Wind Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Sycamore Basketball Band, Choral Ensembles, Concert Choir, Masterworks Chorale, Music Theater/Opera, Sycamore Singers, & Women's Chorale.[38]

Alma mater

Charles M. Curry, Professor of English and Literature authored The Alma Mater.[36] It was originally entitled, "Indiana’s Normal" and first printed in a June 1912 issue of the Normal Advance. Dr. Curry used the music of Annie Lisle for The Alma Mater.


Athletics wordmark

The school's athletic teams are known as the Sycamores. They participate in the Division I Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA FCS Missouri Valley Football Conference.

Athletically, it is best known as the alma mater of basketball legend Larry Bird; World Champion gymnast Kurt Thomas; and Olympic, World and Pan-American Champion free-style wrestler, Bruce Baumgartner. The legendary basketball coach John Wooden coached the Sycamores before accepting the Head Coaching position at UCLA. The Men's Basketball team won the 1950 NAIB National Champions and were National Runner-Up in 1946 and 1948. They were also the NCAA College Division (Div II) National Runner-Up in 1968 and the Division I National Runner-Up in 1979. The 1950 team comprised the core of the 1951 Pan-American Gold Medal Team. In 1971, Coach Grete Treiber led the ISU Women's gymnastics team to a National Runner-up finish at the AIAW National Championships. Kurt Thomas led the Men's Gymnastics Team to the 1977 NCAA National Championship.


Hulman Center, originally named Hulman Civic-University Center, is a multi-use arena that opened in December 1973.[39] It seats 10,200 people for basketball and is home to the Indiana State University Sycamores men's and women's basketball teams of the Missouri Valley Conference. It has hosted multiple concerts and the Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball tournament title game in 1979, the year legendary Larry Bird helped the undefeated Sycamores reach the championship game of the NCAA tournament.

The baseball field is located within a mile of the main campus along the scenic Wabash River. Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium is home to the Terre Haute Rex team.[40] Memorial Stadium, the home field for Indiana State's NCAA Football Championship Subdivision football team of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, and the women's soccer team is located on Wabash Avenue, two miles (3 km) east of the main campus.[41] Walter E. Marks Field for track and field and Ferne Price Field for softball are among the many athletic facilities located on campus.[42]

Indiana State University has hosted eight (2002, 2004–2010) NCAA Division I cross country championships at the spectacular LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. Indiana State will host the championships in 2013.

The University also hosted the 1975 NCAA Gymnastics National Championships. The school also hosted the 10th NCAA Wrestling Championships in 1937; remarkable considering the school had yet to establish a wrestling program.

Memorial Stadium



Notable faculty and alumni


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  3. Archived February 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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  20. "Home - Strategic Plan" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  21. Dave Taylor (2014-12-01). "Nothing 'Normal' about this renovation | State Magazine | Indiana State University". State Magazine. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
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  28. "Best Colleges 2017: National Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2016.
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  32. "High Learning Commission". Retrieved 2007-08-26.
  33. "Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing". 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2015-10-18.
  34. "Carnegie Classifications - Community Engagement Classification". Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  35. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Indiana State University: About ISU: History and Traditions". Archived from the original on January 1, 1970. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  36. Communications and Marketing. "Newsroom | Indiana State University". Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  37. "School of Music Home". Retrieved 2015-05-21.
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  41. "Indiana State University Archives: Marks Field". Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  42. "Gibson Track and Field Dedication | Indiana State University". 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2015-10-18.

External links

Coordinates: 39°28′10″N 87°24′25″W / 39.469525°N 87.40706°W / 39.469525; -87.40706

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