University of Southern Indiana



It all starts here.


The Beginning

1965: Indiana State University Evansville

First Indiana State University Evansville (ISUE) classes are held in Centennial School with 412 students, two full-time and 36 part-time faculty and staff. The school was located on the west side of 12th Avenue, between Indiana Street and Illinois Street.

Centennial School


Land for a Campus

1966: Land for a Campus

Southern Indiana Higher Education (SIHE) Inc., raises nearly $1 million in a community fund drive to acquire 1,400 acres in western Vanderburgh County.

USI campus photo from 1966


New Dean Named

1967: New Dean Named

Dr. David L. Rice is named dean of ISUE campus.

David Rice in his office


New Buildings

1968: New buildings for a new campus

The state approves funding for the first buildings on campus, the Administration/Science Complex.

Campus from 1968


USI Foundation & Sports

1968: USI Foundation and Sports

The University's fundraising organization, USI Foundation, is created. Learn the story of Cloedeen G. and Frank F. McDonald Sr., who made the first gift to the University.

First organized athletic teams.

The McDonalds


First Buildings Open

1969: First Buildings Open

The first building on campus, the Administration/Science complex, opens with 18 classrooms, seven labs and 1,617 students.

Science Labs


Basketball, Singing, and the Pyramid Lounge.


Men's Basketball

1970: Men's Basketball

Men's Basketball is first intercollegiate sport and ISUE becomes known as the Screaming Eagles.

ISUE Basketball


1970: Madrigals

The first Madrigal Feaste, reenacting a resplendent 15th-century European Renaissance dinner with processionals and music accompanying each item on the menu, is hosted by the Mid-America Singers. To date, 45 Madrigal Feastes have taken place at USI.



1971: First Commencement

First Commencement for 151 degree candidates is held on ISUE campus.

Commencement ceremony

Temporary Union Building and Library

1971: Temporary Union and Library

ISUE Temporary Union Building (TUB) is established. The TUB was located in an old house on campus and students were encouraged to use the facility to relax, play games, buy snacks and visit with friends. It served as a gathering place until the construction of the University Center in 1974. The symbolic bathtub in this photo today is on display in University Center West.

The USI Library opens in what is today the University Center East. The library was originally located in two classrooms on the second floor of the Centennial School Building. The current David L. Rice Library was opened in 2006.

Temporary Union Building


First President of ISUE Campus

1971: First President of ISUE Campus

David L. Rice is named first president of ISUE campus.


Alumni Association and Varsity Club

1971: Alumni Association and Varsity Club

USI Graduates form the USI Alumni Association. Today, the Alumni Association is more than 36,000 strong and graduates maintain strong ties with the University by volunteering their time and expertise, participating in local networking events, and keeping in touch with former classmates.

Screaming Eagles Varsity Club is organized by a group of faculty, alumni and friends of the University to raise funds for basketball scholarships and create an athletic family for student-athletes.



1972: IU School of Medicine

Evansville Center of the Indiana University School of Medicine opens on the USI campus. After more than 40 years on the USI campus, the school plans to expand and relocate to a downtown Evansville location in 2017.

IU School of Medicine Evansville Campus


Eagle Grand Prix

1972: Eagle Grand Prix

The first Eagle Grand Prix bike race is held on campus. The event was a tradition for 25 years before taking a three-year hiatus and resuming in 2001 through 2004. The race was through and around campus.

Eagle Grand Prix


University Center

1974: University Center Opens

University Center opens with a student lounge; Pyramid Lounge becomes favorite student spot.

Pyramid Lounge


First Decade Snapshot

1975: USI At A Glance

Enrollment totals 2,945 students.

Aerial photo of campus


Women's Basketball

1975: Women's Basketball

Women's Basketball is first women's intercollegiate sport.

Women's Basketball Team


Technology Center

1975: Technology Center

Technology Center opens, housing engineering, art and other programs at USI. Today the facility houses classrooms, workshops and faculty offices for the Art Department, the Performing Arts Department and New Harmony Theatre.

Technology Center



1976: NCAA Division II

Intercollegiate athletic programs affiliate with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II.

NCAA logo


Mid-America Singers

1977: Mid-America Singers Gain National Exposure

The show choir and band entertained Tri-state audiences for 30 years before combining with the USI Madrigal Singers Show Choir in 2001 to form the USI Chamber Choir. In 1977, the Mid-America Singers gained national exposure by performing in "An Elizabethan Christmas Celebration" on PBS.

Mid-America Singers



1978: GLVC Conference

University is founding member of Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) for intercollegiate athletics.

GLVC logo


Campus Happenings

1979: Campus Happenings

The state refuses to pay for student housing to be built, so the non-profit Southern Indiana Higher Education (SIHE) Inc. announces it will provide funds to build housing.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools grants 10-year accreditation.

Students walking on campus


The PAC, Housing, and Independence!



1980: The PAC

Physical Activities Center (PAC) opens, providing instructional space for physical education and recreation programs as well as offices for the Athletic Department and Kinesiology and Sport Department. Included in the building are three regulation basketball courts, aquatics area with swimming pool, specialized physical education and service facilities, classrooms, locker rooms and team rooms and multi-purpose activity areas. The University will begin plans to renovate the facility in 2015.

The PAC, physical activities center



1981: WSWI Radio

USI creates a radio station, WSWI/The Edge, a gift from South Central Broadcasting. The radio station still broadcasts today at 820 AM, 90.7 FM and HD2. The station provides hands-on experience for students majoring or minoring in radio and television.


University Home

1983: University Home

University Home, the residence for the first family, is built on property adjacent to campus, as a gift from the University Foundation.

University Home


Separate Status

1983: Separate Status

Indiana Commission for Higher Education supports separate state university status.

Students on campus


Bill Enacted

1984: Bill Enacted

Bill to establish the Board of Incorporators for an independent state university in southwestern Indiana enacted.

Bill Signing


Student Housing

1984: Student Housing Available

The first student housing is constructed on campus by the Mid-America Student Housing (MASH) with a loan from Southern Indiana Higher Education (SIHE) Inc. Ten two-story structures hold a maximum of 600 students.

Student Housing


Graduate Program

1984: First Graduate Program

Masters in Science and Industrial Management is first graduate degree offered.

Campus photo


Second Decade Snapshot

1985: USI At A Glance

Enrollment totals 4,025 students.

Aerial of Campus


USI Created

1985: University of Southern Indiana Created

Bill creating the University of Southern Indiana (USI) is signed into law by Governor Robert D. Orr on campus April 16, at 12:07:15 p.m.

USI Created


Board of Trustees

1985: Board of Trustees

Governor Robert D. Orr appoints USI's first board of trustees: (left to right) Robert Boyer, Joseph O'Daniel (vice chairman), John Pruis, Robert Fair (chairman), Eric Williams (student representative), Albert Woll (honorary trustee), William Brooks, Jr., Carole Rust (secretary), George Weathersby, Percy Clark, Jr., and Dr. David L. Rice (University president, non-voting member).

Board of Trustees


More From 1985

1985: More From 1985

New logo for USI

USI undertakes management of Historic New Harmony.

USI 1985 Logo


USI Commencement

1986: USI Commencement

470 students graduate in first USI Commencement.



More From 1986

1986: More From 1986

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools awards 10-year accreditation for graduate and undergraduate programs.

Historic Southern Indiana (HSI), a heritage and tourism initiative, organized by USI.

Historic Southern Indiana logo



1988: New Harmony Theatre

USI Theatre assumes management of New Harmony Theatre. In the past 27 years, it has grown in prominence to become a major regional theatre that attracts the best professional theatre artists from all over the country. Guest artists from Actors' Equity Association, which is the union of professional actors, began performing at the theatre in 1989, and continue to this day.

New Harmony Theatre


More From 1988

1988: More From 1988

First classes in nursing offered at USI. Today USI's highly-ranked nursing program is one of the University's most competitive and sought after degrees.

Presidential Scholarship program established through the USI Foundation to attract Indiana's brightest and best students by making full four-year scholarships available to qualified Indiana valedictorians and salutatorians.

Student Studying


$2 Million

1989: USI Foundation Accomplishment

USI Foundation assets top $2 Million.

USI Campus


New Buildings, New President, and a Championship!


Orr Center

1990: Orr Center

Robert D. Orr Center opens as a classroom and office building housing many of the student services departments. Today, Admission, Student Financial Assistance, Registrar, Counseling Center, Honors Program and Graduate Studies are located on the main floor. The second floor is dedicated to classroom space. Computer labs and faculty offices for the English Department, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and Intensive English Program are located on the third floor. Career Services and Internships and portions of Information Technology, as well as Business Affairs offices, including the Cashier, are located on the lower level.

Orr Center


Soccer Champs

1991: Soccer Champs

Men's Soccer wins fourth consecutive GLVC championship.

GLVC Soccer Champs


Rice Library

1992: Rice Library

David L. Rice Library is named in honor of the first university president.

David L. Rice Library


License Plate

1993: On The Road With USI

USI's Indiana specialty license plates are introduced to show pride in USI and support the Alumni Scholarship Endowment.

USI License Plate


Student Apartments

1994: Student Apartments

Southern Indiana Higher Education (SIHE) Inc. transfers ownership of $15 million student apartments to USI.

Student Apartments Transferred


Health Professions Center

1994: Health Professions Center

Health Professions Center opens housing the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Features include the 450-seat William L. and Trudy Mitchell Auditorium (Mitchell Auditorium), a state-of-the-art Simulation Center, the Charles E. Day Learning Resource Center, a Dental Hygiene Clinic and dental laboratory, lecture rooms, classrooms, instructional laboratories, seminar rooms and faculty offices. The lower level includes laboratories for science, classrooms for health services, a human performance laboratory and the University Health Center for students, faculty and staff. The Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville is currently located on the third floor.

Health Professions Center


More From 1994

1994: More From 1994

Board of Trustees creates Rice Plaza to honor David and Betty Rice's 27 years of service.

Lloyd Expressway overpass leading into campus opens.

USI Athletics wins GLVC All-Sports Award.

First distance education courses offered.

Multicultural Center opens.

Rice Plaza


Third Decade Snapshot

1995: USI At A Glance

Enrollment totals 7,666 students.

Campus Aerial photo


President Hoops

1995: President Hoops

Dr. H. Ray Hoops inaugurated as second president of USI.

President Hoops


National Champions

1995: National Champions

Men's Basketball team wins NCAA Division II National Championship.

Mens Basketball Champions


Campaign and Volunteer

1996: Campaign USI and Volunteer USI

Campaign USI, first capital campaign, begins.

Volunteer USI launched. On average 1,500 alumni, students, employees and community members volunteer with Volunteer USI each year, averaging 121,000 hours. Since its inception in 1996, over 1.4 million service hours have been contributed by the 4,800 volunteers.

Campaign USI, Volunteer USI


Women's Athletics

1997: Women Athletics

Women's Cross Country and Women's Basketball teams advance to NCAA Division II National Finals.

NCAA National Finals


More From 1997

1997: More From 1997

University Center expansion complete with opening of Carter Hall, a generous gift of Jennings D. "Nick" Carter in loving memory of his wife Josephine K. Carter. Carter Hall is located on the second floor of the University Center and is primarily used for large meetings, conferences, weddings and dances, and can hold as many as 740 people.

Harolyn Torain '71 becomes first alumna to chair Board of Trustees

Business programs accredited by AACSB International.

Carter Hall opens


Pott College

1998: Pott College

Pott College of Science and Engineering named in honor of Robert H. and Elaine H. Pott. In 2011, Pott College became the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education after the integration of physical education and teacher education.

Robert Pott


Rono Wins

1998: Elly Rono '99 Wins

Cross Country athlete Elly Rono '99 wins Division II National Championship and is NCAA II Runner of the Year.

Elly Rono


More From 1998

1998: More From 1998

Campaign USI closes triumphantly with $18 million in gifts and pledges and $6 million in deferred gifts.

USI is first NCAA Division II university to have both men's and women's basketball teams simultaneously ranked number one in the nation.

Honors Program begins, offering a selective, demanding and rewarding program for students searching for an intellectual challenge and prepared to invest extra effort to meet that challenge.



Liberal Arts Center

1999: Liberal Arts Center

Liberal Arts Center, home of the College of Liberal Arts, opens featuring the Anna Lee Hamilton Music Studio, Scripps Howard Center for Media Studies, Center for Communal Studies, Cynderella McDowell Miller Foreign Language Laboratory, Topper Practice Room, radio and television production studios, language laboratories, a distance-learning classroom and several classrooms equipped with instructional technology to enhance learning. Also located in the center are the Clifford A. and Ruth M. Kleymeyer Lecture Hall, the Helen M. Mallette Studio Theatre and the Kenneth P. McCutchan Art Center/Palmina F. and Stephen S. Pace Galleries.

Liberal Arts Center


More From 1999

1999: More From 1999

First suite-style residence halls opens.

Pott School of Science and Engineering and IU School of Medicine establish Baccalaureate/Doctor of Medicine program.

Residence Halls


Engineering, Colleges, and Campus Quad!


Deans Scholarship

2000: Deans Scholarship

Dr. Olen and Inez Pumphrey establish the first Deans Scholarship through the USI Foundation. The Deans Scholarship is a merit scholarship patterned after the Presidential Scholarships, but without the Indiana residency or valedictorian/salutatorian requirement. Since the Deans Scholarship program inception, five Deans Scholarships have been awarded annually to exceptional students who graduated at or near the top of their high school classes.

Deans Scholarship



2001: ROTC

Since its inception, 66 officers have been commissioned through the USI Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program. Of those, 11 have gone on to serve with the Active Army, 49 with the National Guard, and six with the Army Reserve.



2001: Recreation Fitness And Wellness Center

Recreation Fitness and Wellness Center opens offering up-to-date facilities and diverse programming for students and employees and includes three multipurpose courts for basketball, volleyball, table tennis and badminton; a strength and conditioning area with cardiovascular machines and free weight equipment; indoor walk/jog track; a 33-foot-tall rock climbing tower; group exercise rooms; showers and locker rooms; game room with billiards, table tennis, video games and foosball; and a lounge area with television. The facility was expanded in 2009.

Recreation and Fitness Center



2002: Engineering

Engineering Technology program transitions to a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with over 200 students.

Engineering Program


Science and Education

2003: Science and Education

Science Center Torrington Wing and Education Center opens offering research laboratories, offices and two indoor wells for groundwater monitoring.

Education Center


Cross Country

2004: Cross Country

USI hosts NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship on campus.

Cross Country athlete Heather Cooksey wins Division II National Championship in Women's Outdoor Track and Field.



Fourth Decade Snapshot

2005: USI At A Glance

Enrollment totals 10,004 students.

USI designates its four academic units as Colleges instead of Schools.

Campus Aerial


New Rice Library

2006: New Rice Library

New David L. Rice Library opens. Named for the founding president of USI, it provides space for library collections and traditional functions and also meets today's changing needs with technology and space for collaboration. The library has 30 group study rooms and features a Starbucks coffee shop and commons area. The building houses University Archives and Special Collections, the Ruth M. Kleymeyer Hall of Presidents, and a lower level including 16 technology-enhanced classrooms and a 125-seat auditorium.

Rice Library


Fall Commencement

2006: Fall Commencement

First Fall Commencement held on campus.


Labyrinth And Quad

2007: Labyrinth And Quad

USI Labyrinth and Quadrangle open. The brick-paved USI Labyrinth is modeled after New Harmony's Cathedral Labyrinth and symbolizes USI's stewardship of Historic New Harmony, an outreach program of USI and the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. Robert Ferré of St. Louis-based Labyrinth Enterprises designed the USI Labyrinth and consulted on New Harmony's. The Quad, a large grassy and landscaped area at the center of campus, provides a focal point between the University Center, Rice Library, Technology Center, Business and Engineering Center and Liberal Arts Center.

Campus Quad


Hall Of Fame

2007: Athletics Hall Of Fame

First inductees in USI Athletic Hall of Fame, the inaugural class includes Mike Fetscher (Baseball 1992-95), Stan Gouard (Men's Basketball 1993-96), Amber Huse Tooley (Softball 1993-96), Kathy Lauck Schreiber (Women's Basketball 1990-94), Todd Reller (Men's Cross Country/Track 1980-84), Bill Stegemoller (Men's/Women's Cross Country Head Coach 1979-98), and Dr. Charles Bertram (Faculty Athletic Representative 1979-99).

Hall of Fame


Art Center And Galleries

2008: Art Center And Galleries

Kenneth P. McCutchan Art Center/Palmina F. and Stephen S. Pace Galleries open, providing space and accommodations for the Student Art Exhibition, student and faculty exhibitions, visiting artist exhibitions, traveling exhibitions and Senior Art Seminars.

Art Center and Galleries


More From 2008

2008: More From 2008

USI becomes higher education partner with Innovation Pointe in downtown Evansville.

Doctor of Nursing Practice is first doctoral degree offered.

Southern Indiana Higher Education (SIHE) Inc. transfers ownership of over 900 acres of land and all remaining assets to the University Foundation.

Campus entrance roundabout opens.

Innovation Point


President Bennett

2009: President Bennett

Dr. Linda L. M. Bennett inaugurated as third president of USI.

President Bennett


BEC, UC East, Applied Engineering Center And More Championships!


Business And Engineering

2010: Business And Engineering

Business and Engineering Center opens. The facility encourages collaboration between students in the Romain College of Business and the Engineering Department within the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education. Student spaces include the O'Daniel Atrium, the Vectren Lakeside Study Lounge and Balcony and smaller lounges on each floor. Additional features include: the Old National Bank Sales Suite and Joseph P. Coslett Sales Management Development Laboratory; the Lloyd C. Hahn Engineering Design Center; the Ron and Connie Romain Board Room; and the Kahn Dees Donovan and Kahn Decision Support and Negotiations Lab.

Business and Engineering Center



2010: Fountain

Robert M. Kent Family Fountain, located in the roundabout at the entrance of campus, is dedicated.

Kent Family Fountain


Baseball Champions

2010: Baseball Champions

Baseball team wins NCAA Division II National Championship.



UC East

2011: UC East

University Center East and Traditions Lounge open providing space for student organizations, eateries, Fireside and Heritage lounges, meeting and conference facilities and offices for the Dean of Students, Student Development Programs, the Multicultural Center, International Programs and Services, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and Outreach and Engagement. The Cone, formally known as the University Center Tower, is the architecturally distinctive 97-foot-tall tower rising from University Center East. Offices for the Student Government Association, Activities Programming Board, Fraternity and Sorority Life and The Shield, student newspaper, also are housed in UC East.

University Center east


More From 2011

2011: More From 2011

Volunteer USI celebrates 1 million service hours.

USI Chamber Choir performs at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

USI confers first doctoral degree in Nursing Practice.



Spring Commencement

2012: Spring Commencement

Spring Commencement returns to campus.



USI-Burdette Trail

2012: USI-Burdette Trail

USI and Burdett Park collaborate to construct a three-mile, paved greenway between the two properties for use by students and the community. The trail is a National Recreation Trail and part of the American Discovery Trail, a 6,800-mile, 15-state trail that stretches coast to coast.



Campaign USI

2013: Campaign USI

Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence, second capital campaign.

Campaign USI


Applied Engineering

2013: Applied Engineering Center

Applied Engineering Center opens supporting the engineering, advanced manufacturing and industrial supervision programs and featuring more than $3 million in high-tech manufacturing and engineering equipment found nowhere else in the country.

Applied Engineering Center


Romain College

2014: Romain College

Romain College of Business named in honor of Ron '73 and Connie '74 Romain.



New Logos

2014: New Logos

Launch of new academic and athletic logos.

New USI Logos


Baseball Champs, Again!

2014: Baseball Champions, Again!

USI's Baseball team wins its second national championship in five seasons. USI is the only Indiana Division I, II or III team to win a national title in baseball.

Baseball Champs


Archie Eagle

2014: Archie Eagle

Archibald (Archie) T. Eagle sheds the cartoon look he's sported since 2001, taking on a fiercer look that echoes the spirit of the athletic teams' strong, competitive and tough. A new Archie's Jr. Varsity Club is created.

Archie Eagle


Campus Today

2015: Campus Today

Today, USI’s beautiful 1,400-acre campus is home to a large complex of modern buildings with state-of-the-art facilities.

Aerial of Campus


Teaching Theatre

2015: Teaching Theatre

USI Teaching Theatre to be completed in 2015. The $17.25 million state-of-the art facility seats up to 300 guests and will serve USI’s Theatre Arts Program as well as the University as a whole for other academic purposes and University events.

Teaching Theatre


Celebrating 50 Years

2015: Celebrating 50 Years

Join us all year as we celebrate 50 years!

50th Anniversary Logo

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