A visionary university with humble beginnings

IUPUI can trace its roots back to 1891, when Indiana University offered classes in Indianapolis for the very first time.

In the decades that followed, both IU and Purdue proved themselves dedicated to providing higher education opportunities in Indianapolis, offering programs in the liberal arts, medicine, and more.

However, the two universities operated independently until then mayor Richard Lugar called for “a great state university in Indianapolis” in 1968.

As a result, Indiana University and Purdue University merged their many programs and schools to create IUPUI in 1969.

Since then, IUPUI has come into its own, becoming Indiana’s premier urban research university.

IUPUI timeline

First graduating class of nursing at Wishard Memorial Hospital in 1885


  • 1891: Indiana University offers first classes in Indianapolis
  • 1914: Long Hospital opens and the Indiana University Training School for Nurses is founded
  • 1916: First extension office for Indiana University opens in Indianapolis
  • 1917: First commencement is held for nursing. Five students receive a Graduate Nurse Diploma from Indiana University
  • 1919: Indianapolis School of Medicine Building completed
The Ball Residence for Nurses


  • 1924: James Whitcomb Riley Hospital, named after the Hoosier poet, is dedicated in October
  • 1927: The 75-bed William Coleman Hospital for Women is dedicated on October 20
  • 1928: The Ball Residence for Nurses, now known as Ball Residence Hall, opens its doors
  • 1934: The School of Dentistry Building and Ball Sunken Gardens are completed
  • 1938: The Clinical Building is completed
The original IUPUI Student Union Building


  • 1941: The Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union becomes part of IU. It is renamed the School of Physical Education in 1973.
  • 1953: The Student Union Building opens
  • 1956: The School of Nursing is established
  • 1959: The Division of Allied Health Sciences is established within the School of Medicine
  • 1967: The Herron School of Art becomes affiliated with IU

In 1969 Indiana University and Purdue University merge to create IUPUI and Maynard K. Hine, D.D.S., becomes the first chancellor.

Maynard K. Hine at the 1971 commencement ceremony


  • 1970: IUPUI holds first commencement, granting 1,535 degrees
  • 1971: Undergraduate campus, consisting of Cavanaugh Hall, Lecture Hall, and University Library opens
  • 1972: IU School of Public & Environmental Affairs, IU School of Liberal Arts, Purdue School of Science, and Purdue School of Engineering and Technology are established
  • 1973: Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D. is named second chancellor of IUPUI
  • 1975: The Engineering and Technology Building is completed and the School of Continuing Studies is established
The Classic Splash in 1983


  • 1977: Riley Hospital Intensive Care Clinic, Parent Education and Preparation Center, and Parent Care Unit are completed
  • 1980: Riley Hospital Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization Clinic and Laboratory is completed
  • 1981: University Townhouses are completed
  • 1982: Natatorium, Track and Field Stadium, Classroom/Office II Building are completed
  • 1983: Elks Cancer Research Center opens
Dinofest in University Library, 1994


  • 1986: Gerald L. Bepko, Ph.D., is named third chancellor of IUPUI
  • 1987: Center on Philanthropy at IUPUI is established with $4 million grant from Lilly Endowment
  • 1992: IU Hospital and Outpatient Center is completed
  • 1993: Purdue programs complete move to main IUPUI campus
  • 1994: University Library is dedicated
Herron School of Art and Design painting studio


  • 1999: IU Cancer Center receives national cancer center research designation
  • 2001: Lawrence W. Inlow Hall is dedicated
  • 2003: Charles R. Bantz, Ph.D., is named fourth chancellor of IUPUI
  • 2004: Informatics & Communications Technology Complex is dedicated
  • 2005: Herron School of Art and Design moves to main IUPUI campus
The IUPUI Campus Center


  • 2008: Campus Center is completed and dedicated in April
  • 2010: The Office for Veterans and Military Personnel, Multicultural Success Center, and Honors College have their grand openings
  • 2012: The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy—the first such school in the world—is established
  • 2013: The Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is established and Hine Hall, University Tower, and Tower Dining open
  • 2015: Nasser H. Paydar, Ph.D., is named fifth chancellor of IUPUI
  • 2016: IUPUI launches the Welcoming Campus Initiative
  • 2017: IUPUI Jaguar Athletics moves to the Horizon League
  • 2019: IUPUI celebrates its 50th anniversary

See more historical events from the last 50 years

Visit the IUPUI 50th Anniversary website