Cultivating the Talents of the Sons and Daughters of Indiana: The IU South Bend Education and Arts Building

Education and Arts Building Dedication
Tent outside the Education and Arts Building
IU South Bend
South Bend, Indiana
April 17, 2013

The Virtues of Architecture

John Ruskin was one of the leading English art and social critics of the Victorian era. He wrote, in a famous 1873 essay called “The Virtues of Architecture” that “in the main, we require from buildings… two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well; then, that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it…”1

Today, as we celebrate the dedication of the Education and Arts Building, (situated, coincidentally, at the corner of Esther and Ruskin Streets,) we celebrate a facility that more than meets the requirements suggested by Ruskin. It will fulfill its practical duty well by helping to meet the long-standing critical need for space at IU South Bend, and in doing so, I think we can all agree, it is a most “graceful and pleasing” addition to the campus.

A Longstanding Critical Need

I noted when we broke ground for this building in 2011 that, in the early 1980s, then-IU South Bend Chancellor Lester Wolfson wrote of the “crying need” for additional space on this campus.

But as far back as 1955, when IU South Bend and the other regional campuses of Indiana University were still known as “extension centers,” the dean of IU’s Division of Adult Education and Public Services, Hugh Norman, gave a report to the Faculty Council in which he looked ahead just to the year 1970. He foresaw that there would be a vast increase in the demand for education, research, and public service here in South Bend and around the state. “A prediction such as this,” he wrote, “poses a problem that is startling. …Adequate building facilities, including good classrooms, laboratories, libraries, auditoriums, …faculty offices, and attractive lounges and other facilities for young students and adults must be provided.”2

IU South Bend

Of course, Dean Norman’s forecast about the increase in demand for education, research, and service around the state not only came true, but the growth of IU’s regional campuses exceeded even his predictions.

Today, about one-third of all Indiana University students attend IU’s regional campuses and the campuses are vital economic and cultural contributors to their home communities.

And nowhere has that growth been more evident than here at IU South Bend.

IU South Bend is the largest of IU’s regional campuses, with a record-breaking enrollment last fall of nearly 8,500 IU students taking nearly 80,000 credit hours. The strong tradition of academic excellence that has developed here is evidenced by the campus’s seven schools and more than 100 academic majors and programs, which include both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

This success, of course, would not be possible without the support of the members of the truly wonderful and dedicated South Bend community, who have, for many decades, shown great support for higher education and an unwavering commitment to Indiana University.

Celebrating The Education and Arts Building

The building we dedicate today has certainly been a long time in coming.

The story behind this renovation, as you will hear, goes back even further, but in 2004, Chancellor Reck and other campus administrators began to advocate in earnest for state funding to renovate the former Associates Building and transform it a modern classroom building.

After an extensive, $22 million renovation, many visitors to the campus will surely be quite surprised to learn that the Education and Arts Building was once the Associates Building. The old building’s cracked red brick exterior, which certainly did not meet modern building codes, has been replaced with the beautiful Indiana limestone exterior that you see behind you.

And on the interior, this magnificent new facility includes a lecture hall that will accommodate 130 people, three computer labs with 24-hour access, a large rehearsal hall for music majors and other students within the Raclin School of the Arts, a new suite for the Dental Hygiene Clinic, formerly located in Riverside Hall, and space for the offices of the Dental Hygiene Program, the Raclin School of the Arts, and the School of Education.

By providing much-needed space for these programs and endeavors, the Education and Arts Building will be critical to the continued growth of IU South Bend.

Thanks to Leadership

As I have already noted, Chancellor Reck has been an untiring advocate for this project, just as she has been for the entire campus. She is, of course, retiring in June, and we will have a more extensive tribute to her later in the program. But I think it only appropriate that I ask you to join me now in expressing our thanks to Chancellor Una Mae Reck for her outstanding leadership?

This project also would not have been possible without the support of the Indiana Legislature. In particular, I would first like to thank retired Senator Robert Meeks, from whom we will hear in a few moments, for his truly tireless dedication to the IU South Bend campus. I would also like to extend our thanks to former Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives Patrick Bauer, whose support was vital to the success of this project. Again, I ask if you would join me in thanking Senator Meeks and Representative Bauer for what they have done.


In 1966, just two years before his historic statement to the Board of Trustees that called for the establishment of the IU South Bend and other regional campuses, Indiana University’s 12th president, Elvis J. Stahr wrote that “in the long years of her service to almost every aspect of the social, economic, professional, and political life of her parent state, Indiana University has contributed richly to the cultivation of the talents of her sons and daughters and to the strength and vitality of Indiana and the nation. Her aspirations,” he wrote, “have always been characterized by intolerance for ‘second-best.’”3

Today, IU South Bend continues to contribute richly to the cultivation of the talents of Indiana’s sons and daughters—and Indiana University’s aspirations continue to be characterized by intolerance for second best.

In the Education and Arts Building, IU South Bend has a new, first-rate facility that will allow it to even more effectively contribute to the cultivation of the talents of its students and to the strength and vitality of the university.

And, to borrow again from John Ruskin, we also have in the Education and Arts Building, a building that “(does) the things it was intended to do in the best way;” a building that “speak(s) well, and say(s) the things it was intended to say in the best words;” and a building “that …look(s) well, and please(s) us by its presence…”4

May it continue to serve this campus and its students, faculty, and staff well for many years to come.

Source Notes

  1. John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice, Volume 3, (Smith, Elder and Co., 1873), 35.
  2. Hugh W. Norman, “The Division of Adult Education and Public Services: A Summary of Developments and Future Plans,” Faculty Council minutes 1955-57, 179-192, as reprinted in Thomas Clark, Indiana University: Midwestern Pioneer, volume 4, (Indiana University, 1977) 691.
  3. Elvis J. Stahr, “Extending the Margin of Greatness,” Draft of January 1966 message to potential IU Sesquicentennial donors, IU Archives.
  4. Ruskin, The Stones of Venice, 35.