UIndy's History & Mission
The story of the University of Indianapolis, which was founded in 1902, is closely tied to its surrounding University Heights neighborhood. The two grew from infancy together, and UIndy's commitment to its neighborhood remains strong to this day.
Both trace their roots back to the turn of the 20th century when William L. Elder, a local real estate developer, offered the Church of the United Brethren in Christ eight acres of real estate southeast of downtown Indianapolis to establish its desired college -- as well as construction of a college building -- in return for help in selling homesites around it. Though all 446 parcels had not been sold, Indiana Central University opened its doors in 1905 when the first building, now called Good Hall, was completed.
At that time, instruction was offered by eight departments: the College of Liberal Arts, Teachers’ College, Conservatory of Music, School of Oratory, School of Commerce, Bible Institute, School of Arts, and the Academy, in which students completed their preparatory work and earned high school diplomas. The University granted both bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees. In 1927, the academy was discontinued; also, by that time, most of the other departments had been embraced by the College of Liberal Arts. The North Central Association of Schools and Colleges accredited the university in March of 1947.
From 1946 to 1968, following the merger of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and the Evangelical Church, the University was an Evangelical United Brethren institution. Since 1968, when the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist churches merged, it has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
The University was popularly known as Indiana Central College from 1921 to 1975, when use of the word university was resumed. In 1986, the name was changed to University of Indianapolis. From its beginning, the University has been coeducational and open to all races.
UIndy has had nine presidents: J. T. Roberts (1905–1908), L. D. Bonebrake (1909–1915), I. J. Good (1915–1944), I. Lynd Esch (1945–1970), Gene E. Sease (1970–1988), G. Benjamin Lantz, Jr. (1988–1998), Jerry M. Israel (1998–2005), Beverley J. Pitts (2005–2012) and Robert L. Manuel (2012-present).
The University's mission is to prepare its graduates for effective, responsible, and articulate membership in the complex societies in which they live and serve, and for excellence and leadership in their personal and professional lives. The University equips its students to become more capable in thought, judgment, communication, and action; to enhance their imaginations and creative talents; to gain a deeper understanding of the teachings of the Christian faith and an appreciation and respect for other religions; to cultivate rationality and tolerance for ambiguity; and to use their intellect in the process of discovery and synthesis of knowledge.
To achieve its mission, the University:
- Complements academic majors and professional programs with a general-education curriculum that includes courses focusing upon inquiry, abstract logical thinking, and critical analysis; writing, reading, speaking, and listening; values and their impact upon judgment; international and multicultural experiences; understanding numerical data; developing historical consciousness; comprehending science and its methods; and experiencing and appreciating the arts;
- Provides high-quality programs and services that are reviewed regularly and maintained, developed, or redirected as needed;
- Offers learning opportunities and programs of study that respond in innovative ways to the needs of both traditional and nontraditional students;
- Fosters a campus culture that embraces and celebrates human diversity;
- Maintains a faculty of qualified professionals who are sensitive to developments in their disciplines and who demonstrate a commitment to teaching;
- Seeks strategic partnerships with campus, city, state, national, and global communities;
- Establishes international relationships and programs that promote intercultural understanding, awareness, and appreciation;
- Capitalizes on opportunities created by changing circumstances, pursuing initiatives consistent with its mission.