Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne

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Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne
IPFW Logo.png
Established 1964 via the merger of previously established institutions
Type public coeducational
Endowment $42,400,000
Chancellor Vicky L. Carwein
Academic staff 380
Students Approximately 14,000
Location Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Campus suburban: 682 acres (2.76 km2)[2] (2.60 km²)
Athletics 16 Division I NCAA teams
Colors blue and white
Nickname Mastodons
Mascot Don the Mastodon
Affiliations Purdue University System
Indiana University System

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is a cooperatively-managed regional campus of two Indiana public university systems; Indiana University and Purdue University system. It is the fifth largest public university in Indiana,[1] and the largest university in northeast Indiana.[2]


IPFW is governed in various ways via the Purdue University Board of Trustees, the Indiana University Board of Trustees, and the IPFW Faculty Senate. Purdue serves as the fiscal agent for IPFW’s budget and substantially represents IPFW during budgetary negotiations with the State of Indiana. The Indiana-Purdue Foundation owns most of the land that constitutes IPFW and has entered into a 99-year lease with the county for additional land for $1. The IPFW Faculty Senate represents the faculty in the university’s shared governance model. The desire was so strong for an expansion of IPFW during the 1980s that the Faculty Senate and Indiana-Purdue Foundation explored the full independence from both Purdue and IU, not entirely unlike the University of Southern Indiana’s independence from Indiana State University in 1985. Since then, relations with Purdue have improved, as has the level of funding from the State of Indiana. However, due to the institution's continued growth, particularly since 2006,[3] the Indiana Senate may reconsider granting the school its independence.[1]


Either Purdue or IU awards IPFW’s degrees on a program-by-program basis. IPFW's colleges, schools, and divisions are not each identified specifically as IU units or as Purdue units. Through an agreement between the IU and Purdue trustees, most of IPFW’s university services are administratively operated through Purdue’s processes. This is in contrast to IPFW's sibling university, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where IUPUI is a core campus of the Indiana University system, where IUPUI's university services are administratively operated through the Indiana University system, and where IUPUI's schools and academic divisions are each strongly identified by name as IU or Purdue aligned. For those students intending to receive their diploma at another campus of the Indiana University System or Purdue University System, these students may fulfill their freshman, sophomore, or even junior courses at IPFW before transferring to another campus elsewhere in the system to complete their degrees in majors not offered at IPFW. For instance, aeronautical and astronautical engineering is not an offering at IPFW, but many mechanical engineering courses apply through the sophomore year. In recent years, more students have opted to complete their degrees on the Fort Wayne campus.

The Walter E. Helmke Library, the only public university library in northeast Indiana, supports the educational goals of IPFW students, faculty, and staff and welcomes Indiana residents and visitors. The Helmke Library is open to the public; Indiana residents may request borrowing privileges. The partnership shared by librarians, students and faculty is designed to teach IPFW students how to become self-sufficient, lifelong learners. The Library’s information literacy initiative supports student academic achievement and success.

The library offers excellent services, quality collections, and inviting, high-tech facilities for study, research, and collaboration. Subject librarians provide research consulting on a walk-in basis and by appointment; information services are also available by IM, telephone, e-mail and Facebook.

The library's website is an environment designed for discovery. IPFW students, faculty and staff have 24/7 access to thousands of electronic books, journals and databases, the IU and WorldCat catalogs, and a state-of-the-art document delivery service. All Internet users have access to subject and course online guides as well as specialized information centers such as the Government Gateway and Business Resource Center.

The mDON: mastodon Digital Object Network is a growing digital library of IPFW and local community resources. Special collections highlight photography, distinguished faculty lectures, athletics, IPFW theater and streaming video of the popular Omnibus Lecture Series. The Fort Wayne History Center digital collection of photos, documents, maps and manuscripts is available in mDon. The open access IPFW repository Opus: Research & Creativity at IPFW offers a portal to faculty, staff and student scholarly accomplishments as well as free downloads of many of the materials.


History at a glance
IPFW began as co-located extension campuses

via the move to the joint campus in 1964, encompassing the:

Indiana University Fort Wayne Extension Established 1917
Purdue University Fort Wayne Extension Established 1947
and expanded through the 1976 merger with:
Fort Wayne Art Institute Renamed 1966
Fort Wayne Art School Established 1897
Type private

In 1917, Indiana University started offering courses in downtown Fort Wayne to 142 students in 12 courses. At a separate downtown location, Purdue University permanently established the Purdue University Center in 1941 to provide a site in Fort Wayne for students to begin their undergraduate studies prior to transferring to the West Lafayette main campus to complete their degree.[4]

Under the direction of Purdue University President Frederick Hovde, Indiana University President Herman Wells, IU trustee John Hastings, and Purdue trustee Alfred Kettler Sr., the Indiana University and Purdue University extension centers began merging in 1958 via the formation of the Indiana-Purdue Foundation. To serve the extension centers’ now combined mission in Fort Wayne, the Indiana-Purdue Foundation acquired a 99-year lease on existing farmland owned by Allen County—the Indiana county containing Fort Wayne—and land used by the Fort Wayne State School, to form a total of 114 acres (0.46 km2) at the then-suburban northeast edge of Fort Wayne on the eastern bank of the St. Joseph River. Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne opened on September 17, 1964, following nearly two years of construction that began on October 18, 1962. The first all-inclusive building on campus was known as the Education Building, but it has since been renamed Kettler Hall in honor of the combined university’s chief advocate. Kettler’s vision and passion during the 1950s made IPFW possible. IPFW awarded its first four-year degree in 1968 after awarding two-year degrees through the IU and Purdue Fort Wayne extension centers prior to the formation of the joint IPFW campus.[4]

In the spirit of Indiana University’s 1967 acquisition of the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, which helped form IUPUI two years later, the Indiana General Assembly approved a similar merger of the Fort Wayne Art Institute with IPFW in 1976. The Fort Wayne Art Institute was founded in 1897 as the Fort Wayne Art School. Until 1991 the Fort Wayne Art Institute and resulting academic unit within IPFW maintained a small campus in downtown Fort Wayne. In 1998 this academic unit was renamed the School of Fine and Performing Arts. During the latter 1990s, the School of Fine and Performing Arts and its primary classroom building was renamed the School of Visual and Performing Arts and Visual and Performing Arts Building, respectively. In the mid-2000s, the Purdue University board of trustees granted the school “college” status, and it became the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

In 1988, a coalition of the then-Lincoln National Corporation under the direction of Ian Rolland, the M.E. Raker Foundation, the Olive B. Cole Foundation, and the Foellinger Foundation purchased an additional 152 acres (0.62 km2) on the west bank of the St. Joseph River. This tract was the remaining portion of the McKay family homestead.

In 2007, the State of Indiana completed the process of closing the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center. A portion of the grounds had been transferred to IPFW years earlier for construction of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center. The remaining property and buildings of the 142-acre (0.57 km2) developmental center was transferred later in 2007, with the land split between IPFW (40 acres (160,000 m2)) and Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast (45 acres (180,000 m2)).


The John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center, completed in 2007, features the 1,600-seat Auer Performance Hall.

Student housing[edit]

Waterfield Student Housing.

Beginning with fall semester 2004, the university introduced student housing on the Waterfield Campus. Phase II of the student housing initiative continued with two more buildings in August 2007, with total student housing occupancy approaching nearly 750 residents. Phase III of the project, which opened in August 2010, added 448 beds divided between four new residence buildings, bringing total occupancy to more than 1,200 students. Another student community center, The Clubhouse, a larger version of the existing Cole Commons, and a maintenance facility were also added.[5]


IPFW's campus is composed of four parts:

  • the main academic campus, bounded by East Coliseum Boulevard (Indiana State Road 930) to the south, Crescent Avenue (Indiana State Road 37) to the east, Saint Joseph River to the west, and the Canterbury Green Apartment complex and golf course to the north;
  • the residential campus, bounded by Crescent Avenue to the west, Coliseum Boulevard and Trier Road to the south, and Hobson Road to the East;
  • the research-incubator campus, bounded by St. Joe Road to the west, Stellhorn Road (Indiana State Road 37) to the south, Dean Drive to the north, and Sirlin Drive to the east;[1]
  • the former McKay-family farm, the portion of campus on the western bank of the Saint Joseph River, which is bounded by East Coliseum Boulevard to the south, Saint Joseph River to the east, and development to the north and west. The "Plex" indoor soccer facility and the Holiday Inn hotel are on this portion of the IPFW campus.

Grounds and landmarks[edit]

Architecturally, IPFW buildings generally feature brick in various shades of brown or tan as a variation on Purdue West Lafayette’s red brick. This is in contrast to IPFW’s sibling university, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, where the buildings generally feature the same Indiana limestone of IU Bloomington’s buildings. The grounds at IPFW are manicured and landscaped as a multiple-hundred-acre park due in part to the generosity of Virginia Ayers, an avid long-time exerciser on campus who willed her estate to IPFW upon her death in 1986 (IPFW University ArchivesArchived at WebCite).


IPFW Mastodons logo

IPFW student-athletes compete as a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I school in the The Summit League for most sports and in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association for men's volleyball. The university participates in 15 men’s and women’s sports. Before joining NCAA Division I athletics, IPFW competed in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in the NCAA Division II.

Community engagement[edit]

Omnibus Lecture Series[edit]

The Omnibus Lecture Series presents diverse ideas through speakers to the university community and the residents of northeast Indiana. Omnibus has featured such presenters as Henry Winkler "The Fonz," Marlee Matlin, Cheech Marin, Betty Friedan, James Earl Jones, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Ralph Nader, Joyce Carol Oates, Deepak Chopra, Gail Sheehy, Hal Holbrook, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Sean Astin.[6]

Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center[edit]

The Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center is a collaboration among the IPFW College of Health and Human Services, Indiana Area Health Education Center Program office, Indiana University School of Medicine–Fort Wayne, Allen County Health Disparity Coalition, the Dr. Jeff Towles Health Disparities Initiative, and other community healthcare providers and schools to serve 19 counties in northeast and east central Indiana.

Lafayette Street Family Health Clinic[edit]

The Lafayette Street Family Health Clinic is a nurse-practitioner clinic that family planning services to low-income women and men. The clinic offers most birth control methods, pap smears for cervical cancer screening, pregnancy tests, clinical breast exams, emergency contraception, testing and treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), HIV counseling and testing, and education on reproductive health. The clinic also serves as a remote site for IPFW’s Dental Clinic.

Tapestry: A Day for Women[edit]

Tapestry: A Day for Women hosts guest speakers and conducts break-out sessions that are mindful of women's empowerment at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Tapestry proceeds support the Tapestry Parkview Endowment Fund and the Tapestry gift account and provide scholarships to women studying health sciences at IPFW. Since its beginning in 2002, Tapestry has raised more than $370,000 and awarded more than $50,000 in scholarships. Tapestry has featured such keynote speakers as Dana Reeve, Linda Ellerbee, Patty Duke, Marie Osmond, and Clinton Kelly.[7]

IPFW Dental Clinic[edit]

The on-campus IPFW Dental Clinic offers cleanings, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants, plus full-mouth, bite-wing, and panographic X-rays for the community.[8]

Holiday Inn at IPFW and the Coliseum[edit]

The Holiday Inn at IPFW operates on property leased from the Indiana-Purdue Foundation, and is affiliated with IPFW's Hospitality Management Program.[9]


The Communicator is IPFW’s student newspaper.[10]

College Access Television is operated by IPFW and is one of five Educational-access television channels serving Fort Wayne and Allen County. CATV is available on Frontier Communications and Comcast cable systems and serves as the higher education cable access channel and provides opportunities in higher education for area residents.[11]

IPFW leases a portion of its East Campus, the corner of Coliseum Boulevard and Crescent Avenue, to Fort Wayne’s public television station, PBS39 WFWA-DT.[12]

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°07′08″N 85°06′32″W / 41.118822°N 85.109024°W / 41.118822; -85.109024


  1. ^ a b "Sen. Banks Encourages Committee to Review IPFW Independence". Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  2. ^ "IPFW - SAT Scores, Costs and Admissions Data". Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  3. ^ "Colleges set enrollment records". The Journal Gazette. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  4. ^ a b The Creation Years: Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, John Ankenbruck, Evangel Press, 1983.
  5. ^ "Regional Renaissance: New campus structures to benefits students, area." IPFW Alumni Newsletter. Volume 12, Number 5, April 2009.
  6. ^ "Omnibus Lecture Series". Retrieved on September 17, 2009.
  7. ^ "Tapestry: A Day for Women". Retrieved on July 7, 2009.
  8. ^ "IPFW Dental Clinic". Retrieved on July 16, 2009.
  9. ^ "Holiday Inn at IPFW and the Coliseum". Retrieved on February 10, 2009.
  10. ^ The Communicator. Retrieved on December 10, 2008.
  11. ^ College Access Television. Retrieved on December 10, 2008.
  12. ^ Public Television. Retrieved on December 16, 2009.