A Brief History of IU Bloomington

Indiana University stands as one of the most accomplished and well-rounded academic institutions in the United States. Our flagship Bloomington campus offers over 550 academic programs (including over 200 undergraduate majors) and 200 research facilities. Over 43,000 students attend IU Bloomington, with nearly 3,000 of them taking their endeavors abroad.

Before it become a full-fledged beacon of opportunity, IU Bloomington underwent a history of change, contributing to the IU system’s two centuries of existence. IU is preparing to celebrate its Bicentennial in 2020. With that in mind, here’s s a quick look inside the origins of this great institution we call home:

Early Beginnings

IU was established by the General Assembly on January 20, 1820, originally as our State Seminary. Construction of the first building began two years later, and following its completion in 1824, the Indiana State Seminary opened its doors to its first class of 10 male students. The institution changed its name to the “Indiana College” in 1828. It would change again, to “Indiana University” in 1838.

IU hit two milestones in 1883, when it awarded its first doctoral degree, and competed in its first intercollegiate sport — a baseball match-up against Asbury University.

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