History and Traditions

Alma Mater

Charles M. Curry, Professor of English and Literature authored The Alma Mater. It was originally entitled, "Indiana's Normal" and first printed in a June 1912 issue of the Normal Advance.

Blue and White

In 1899, it was announced that Yale Blue and White would replace the colors of Salmon Pink and White. The colors are also applied to the Blue and White Parade and the Blue and White Dance held during Homecoming each fall.

Book and Torch

The book and torch are official symbols of the University and are featured in its seal. The book symbolizes knowledge and truth gained here and the torch symbolizes the light of inspiration that comes to students in these halls.

Book and Torch Ceremony

Book and Torch Ceremony This traditional ceremony marks the commitment of the senior class to become active alumni of Indiana State. Historically, each senior class was charged with adding to the Parsons-Sandison Living Memorial Fund, a scholarship fund for Indiana State students. This tradition encompasses two ceremonies, the first of which is on Founder's Day (generally in January), at which time the president of the Alumni Board charges the senior class to make a commitment to the University. At commencement, another ceremony is conducted. As part of this ceremony, the senior class answers the challenge of commitment, as they become alumni of the University.

Campuses

Indiana State University-Evansville (now University of Southern Indiana) -- Indiana State University-Evansville was created as a branch campus in 1965. Like Ball State University, it became an independent institution of higher education when it was granted independent standing as the University of Southern Indiana in 1985.

Donaghy Day

Donaghy Day Named after Fred Donaghy, graduate of the Normal School (1912) and a professor of life sciences, this campus tradition was initiated in 1976 as a day set aside for the community to celebrate the season and to work to help beautify the campus and surrounding community.

Eastern Division

The Eastern Division was created in 1918 in the building of the old Muncie Institute in Muncie, Indiana. The Eastern division became Ball State Teachers College in 1929 when Indiana State Normal became Indiana State Teachers College. The Indiana State Teachers College Board of Trustees governed both colleges until 1961.

Fight Song

March On (You Fighting Sycamores)," the University's fight song, was authored and arranged by Joseph A. Gremelspacher, an ISU professor of music, as a pep song. It was first performed at a homecoming-eve pep rally on Oct. 20, 1939.

Founders Day

Founders Day January 6 (although it is not always observed on this date) commemorates the opening of the institution in 1870 when 23 students presented themselves to a faculty of three on the first day of classes at the Indiana State Normal School.

Homecoming

Homecoming Parade The term Homecoming was first used in print announcements for the Alumni-Varsity Basketball Game on Dec. 9, 1916. By the year 1919, this event became known as Blue and White Day and featured dances and entertainment for alumni of the Normal School. In 1921 the events were organized around a football game scheduled earlier in the autumn. A bonfire and pep rally were added to the festivities in 1922; the Blue-and-White Parade in 1923; and in 1937, Bette Whitmore (Kappa Kappa) was elected ISUs first Homecoming Queen.

Mascots

Sycamore Sam In 1969, a committee created the Chief Quabachi concept as a mascot for the school. This Indian Chief (and accompanying legend) was used as a mascot until 1989. In 1995, the university welcomed Sycamore Sam to the ISU family. The blue-and-white creature is a favorite among young and old alike.

Names

Indiana State Normal School (1865-1929)

Indiana State Teachers College (1929-1961)

Indiana State College (1961-1965)

Indiana State University (1965 to the present)

 

Presidents of the University

William Albert Jones William Albert Jones
1869-1879
George Pliny Brown George Pliny Brown
1879-1885
William Wood Parsons William Wood Parsons
1885-1921
Linnaeus Neal Hines Linnaeus Neal Hines
1921-1933
Ralph Noble Tirey Ralph Noble Tirey
1934-1953
Raleigh Warren Holmstedt Raleigh Warren Holmstedt
1953-1965
Alan Carson Rankin Alan Carson Rankin
1965-1975
Richard George Landini Richard George Landini
1975-1992
John William Moore John William Moore
1992-2000
Lloyd W. Benjamin III Lloyd W. Benjamin III
2000-2008
Daniel J. Bradley Daniel J. Bradley
2008-

Spring Week

Bed Race This week consists of a variety of exciting student activities in celebration of spring, including the Tandem race (see below), bed races, air band competitions and more.

Student Publications

Student Publications lies within ISU’s Student Affairs Division and is exactly as the name suggests – a student operation that develops the content and conducts general operations of our publication. Our flagship publication – The Indiana Statesman student newspaper – has been in existence since 1879. It is a registered student organization at Indiana State University and is published three days a week during the Fall and Spring semesters and twice during the Summer. Approximately 70 issues are published throughout the year.

Sycamores

In 1921 a contest was held to pick a name for the athletic teams at what was then called the Indiana State Normal School. Until this time, the term "Fighting Teachers" was frequently used in press accounts of athletic contests. In January 1922, it was announced that the name Sycamores had won a popular vote of the student body. Indiana State University has used this team name ever since.

Tandem

Tandem Race This student-organized race was first run as part of Spring Week activities in 1970. Teams are comprised of coed mixed pairs, which compete on tandem bicycles.

Trike

Trike Race The Indiana State Tricycle Derby was first run in 1963 as a 10-lap race around the sidewalks of the Quadrangle on children's tricycles. The races featured a mens and womens division (the Powder Puff Derby). The races now feature men's and women's teams racing on specially built tricycles at the new Recreation East complex at Ninth and Sycamore streets.

University Seal

ISU Seal The current seal includes the symbols of the book and torch and the founding date of 1865. It was approved for use by the board of Trustees in 1929, the year that the Normal School became Indiana State Teachers College.