ISU History


Indiana State University

ISU 4History

Founded in 1865, Indiana State University serves more 12,000 students from over 75 countries and all 50 states.

Charles M. Curry, Professor of English and Literature authored The Alma Mater. It was originally entitled, “Indiana’s Normal” and first printed in a June 1912 issue of the Normal Advance.

The book and torch are official symbols of the University and are featured in its seal. The book symbolizes knowledge and truth gained here and the torch symbolizes the light of inspiration that comes to students in these halls.

Indiana State University-Evansville (now University of Southern Indiana) was created as a branch campus in 1965. Like Ball State University, it became an independent institution of higher education when it was granted independent standing as the University of Southern Indiana in 1985.

Named after Fred Donaghy, graduate of the Normal School (1912) and a professor of life sciences, this campus 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.

The Eastern Division was created in 1918 in the building of the old Muncie Institute in Muncie, Indiana. The Eastern division became Ball State Teachers College in 1929 when Indiana State Normal became Indiana State Teachers College. The Indiana State Teachers College Board of Trustees governed both colleges until 1961.

January 6 (although it is not always observed on this date) 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.

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