The city of Bloomington was officially established in 1818 by a group of settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Virginia. The settlers called this place “a haven of blooms,” thus naming their new city Bloomington. South-Central Indiana is known as the “Limestone Capital of the World” (the center being Bedford, IN, 20 miles south of Bloomington). Many craftsmen mined limestone for a living, and became known as “Cutters.” Because of them, many of the buildings on the Indiana Campus and in Bloomington are made from this native stone. World War II slowed the growth of Bloomington and Indiana University, but following the war, thanks to the GI bill, a record number of students enrolled at the University, which in turn, helped Bloomington become the modern city it is today. With an increased focus on Indiana University, Bloomington has developed into a dynamic city full of international cuisine, a thriving arts scene, and an overall cross-cultural environment in the heart of the Midwest.
Indiana University was established on January 20, 1820, when the state passed a legislative act establishing a state seminary. The first class entered in 1824 with only 10 men, one building, and one professor. From this humble start, IU has grown to encompass over 42,000 students, over 100 buildings, and over 1500 teachers. IU’s most famous president, Herman B Wells, served as president from 1937 to 1962, and remained involved with the University as a committee member from 1962 to 2000. Wells transformed IU by bringing faculty from around the world to Bloomington. Being a patron of the arts, Wells also ensured that IU would provide world class visual and performing arts facilities for its students. Another passion of Wells’ was the environment, and he enforced the rule that for every tree removed on campus, two more would be planted. IU owes much of its prestige to this great president for his love of academics and the environment. Academically, IU’s standout programs include the Jacobs School of Music, the Kelley School of Business, the School of Dentistry, the Maurer School of Law and the School of Education. Indiana University also has a love of basketball, stemming from the 1970s-80s when infamous Coach Bobby Knight led the Hoosiers on to win three NCAA championships. Overall, student involvement in the arts is bringing international culture and participation in community service to the Bloomington area, and has led Indiana University to become the hub of the community.