Expanding for Campus and Community: IU South Bend Education and Arts Building

Groundbreaking of the Education and Arts Building
IU South Bend
South Bend, Indiana
June 23, 2011

A “Crying Need”

In a 1982 letter to IU President John Ryan, former Chancellor of the IU South Bend campus Lester Wolfson wrote of the campus’ “crying need” for additional instructional space.  He was not asking for a new building but for the addition of four mobile classrooms that were no longer needed by the South Bend Community School Corporation.1

Today, as we celebrate the groundbreaking of the Education and Arts Building, our aspirations are slightly higher than Chancellor Wolfson’s were thirty years ago, but our needs are similar. We are addressing the same need for space of which the chancellor wrote those years ago. That continuing need reflects this wonderful community’s great support for higher education and their commitment to Indiana University.

The History of IU in South Bend

As you know, the Education and Arts Building has as its foundation the Associates Building, which has been part of the South Bend community for many years.  Chancellor Reck will offer some of that building’s history in just a moment.  What is now known as the IU South Bend campus also has a long and productive history in this community.  IU scheduled its first classes in the South Bend area in 1922.  Aimed at local teachers, those classes met in a variety of public school buildings. With the Great Depression on the horizon, IU expanded its programs in 1933 to allow students to stay in the area to complete their first two years of coursework.  About 200 students enrolled in this two-year program.2 

Now, of course, the IU South Bend campus is the largest regional campus in the IU system with a record-breaking spring enrollment of over 7,800 IU students, taking over 75,000 credit hours. The campus features seven different schools and over 100 academic majors and programs, which include both undergraduate and graduate degrees. 

Architecture and the Changing Campus Landscape

The history of this campus is inextricably linked to the history of this notable city, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the architecture and the changing landscape. 

I suspect many of you remember the Stanz Cheese Processing Plant, which became the Fine Arts Building; or the Hutchins Tool and Die Company which became Greenlawn Hall; or the Army Reserve Center, which became the Purdue Tech Building; or the Coca-Cola Bottling Factory, which once stood where Weikamp Hall and the nearby parking garage now stand.

Thanks to Leadership

Now, thanks to the diligence and persistence of a great many people, the Associates Building will gain new life as home to the School of Education, Fine Arts, and the Dental Hygiene Program. Special thanks go to Chancellor Reck, who has been an untiring advocate for this project and for the entire campus. Her leadership over the past decade has brought the South Bend campus a period of growth and prosperity highlighted by new campus housing, record enrollments, and now a major renovation project.  Would you help me thank Chancellor Reck for her leadership? 

This project also would not have been possible without the support of the Indiana Legislature, which has contributed $22 million to this effort. In particular, I would like to thank former Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives Patrick Bauer, who continues to represent District 6 in the Indiana Statehouse. I would also like to extend our thanks to Senator John Broden for his support and retired Senator Robert Meeks for his tireless dedication to the IU South Bend campus. Would you please help me thank Representative Bauer, Senator Broden, Senator Meeks, and the entire South Bend area legislative delegation? 

Let me also extend our gratitude to Indiana Commission for Higher Education member Chris Murphy, who has such a long and successful history here in South Bend. 

Over the past two centuries, legislative support, in the interest of Hoosiers across this great state, has helped Indiana University meet the educational needs of the citizens of Indiana, and for that we are grateful.

Conclusion: Enlarging the Horizons of Knowledge

In 1972, President Ryan spoke at the dedication of Northside Hall here at IU South Bend. He said, “Our basic service, of course, our fundamental reason for being, is the education of those who seek to enlarge the horizons of their knowledge.”3 This is precisely what the Education and Arts Building will do:  enlarge the horizons of knowledge for generations to come.

Source Notes

  1. Wolfson, Lester M.  Correspondence with IU President John W. Ryan.  15 Mar. 1982.  Indiana University Archives. 
  2. Dedication of the South Bend-Mishawaka Center Program. University Center Theater.  IU Center South Bend-Mishawaka.  South Bend, Indiana. 25 Mar. 1962.  Indiana University Archives. 
  3. Ryan, John W.  Remarks at IU South Bend, Northside West Dedication.  South Bend, Indiana.  30 Nov. 1972.  Indiana University Archives.