Fast facts about Indiana University for media covering NCAA tourney games

  • March 17, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In advance of Friday's game between Indiana University and Wichita State University in the men's NCAA basketball tournament, here are some behind-the-scenes facts about the Hoosiers.

If you have any questions or need to reach anyone at IU, contact Mark Land at 812-856-1172, 812-322-9016 (cell) or; or George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846, 812-345-1500 (cell) or

1. Indiana University -- with 114,000 students at eight campuses in the state and more than 600,000 living alumni worldwide -- was founded at Bloomington, Ind., in 1820. One of the oldest public universities west of the Allegheny Mountains, it will celebrate its bicentennial in 2020. Enrollment this fall at IU Bloomington (46,416) surpassed the 40,000-student mark for the seventh consecutive year.

2. IU Bloomington's 1,937-acre campus in the rolling hills of southern Indiana is considered one of the five most beautiful campuses in the nation, as cited in Thomas Gaines' book, "The Campus as a Work of Art."

3. The IU Bloomington Libraries, considered one of the top academic libraries in the country, has 17 library sites across campus. The new Learning Commons and Scholars’ Commons in Herman B Wells Library will have more than 1 million visitors this year. Its new innovative service hubs support cutting-edge research on-site and help students achieve their highest academic goals with newly available technological tools.

4. The university's rare-books collection, the Lilly Library, has holdings totaling about 450,000 books, 150,000 pieces of sheet music and many culturally important items such the Gutenberg Bible; the Shakespeare “First Folio” printed in 1623; a first edition, in its original pasteboard binding, of Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice" published in 1813; and the papers of author Kurt Vonnegut, poet Sylvia Plath and director Orson Welles.

5. National rankings are not new for the IU basketball team or for many of IU's academic programs. The 5,500-student undergraduate program at IU's Kelley School of Business is ranked eighth by Bloomberg Businessweek and No. 1 by corporate recruiters in the same survey. The same publication ranked Kelley's MBA No. 1 in terms of best return on investment and 16th overall. IU has been a pioneer in online education, and two master's degree programs at Kelley are ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News continues to rank IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs as the No. 2 graduate program, ahead of Harvard, Princeton and other major universities. IU's School of Education, Jacobs School of Music, Maurer School of Law and schools in the College of Arts and Sciences also are renowned and have been recognized by national publications.

6. IU's emergent School of Global and International Studies, based in the College of Arts and Sciences in Bloomington, offers many opportunities for international education for students, including greater foreign language proficiencies, better understanding of how societies are developing worldwide and deeper knowledge of globalization. It also aims to strengthen and expand IU's already formidable reputation in research and scholarship in international studies by marshaling the expertise of more than 350 core and affiliated faculty members from across the university and IU's 11 federally funded Title VI international area studies centers to address the world's most significant economic, political, social, cultural and environmental challenges. The school is led by Lee Feinstein, former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Poland and served secretaries of state and defense. Other faculty include former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, the longest-serving senator in Indiana's history and former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and longtime U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, former chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Later this year, the school will move into a new building funded from part of IU's share of Big Ten Network revenue.

7. Nearly 90 faculty members affiliated with IU have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a recognition by the world's largest general scientific organization. The IU faculty has also included 47 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 24 members of the National Academy of Sciences and members of learned societies in Australia, France, Mexico, Sweden, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Elinor Ostrom, the only woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, taught at IU for four decades.

8. IU is a national leader in high-speed research computing networks, thanks to early and continued investment in some of the fastest university-owned supercomputers. This month, IU was awarded a $4.8 million National Science Foundation grant to operate TransPAC, the high-speed network that connects U.S. researchers with counterparts in Asia. In 2014, IU researchers won more than $20 million in highly competitive federal information technology grants, creating advanced tools for medical and scientific breakthroughs.

9. IU has launched two new schools of public health in recent years. The schools, one in Bloomington and the other in Indianapolis, are the only such schools in the state and are dedicated to improving the health of Indiana's urban and rural residents.

10. Despite its location in a nearly landlocked Midwestern state, the Office of Underwater Science in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington is an international leader in the creation of underwater parks and museums as a way to protect underwater treasures, such as Capt. Kidd's wrecked ship the Quedagh Merchant and precious corals.

11. IU is the home of the world-famous Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, originally known as the source of the "Kinsey Reports" in the 1950s. Today's research focuses on specific issues in sexual behavior, including how people make sexual decisions; hook-ups and long-term relationships; condom use and errors; and hormonal influences. The research collections include artwork, films and library materials spanning centuries and cultures.

12. IU's Jacobs School of Music has long been recognized as one of the most competitive and acclaimed institutions for the study of music. Its more than 1,600 students come from all 50 states and as many as 55 countries. The school offers more than 1,100 performances a year, including seven fully staged operas and three ballets. Its more than 180 full-time faculty include internationally celebrated performers, scholars and teachers.

13. IU Bloomington is home to IU Cinema, a state-of-the-art venue that showcases new art house releases, foreign language films, classics and documentaries. The cinema regularly hosts screenings and talks with directors and film actors, including Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Glenn Close and faculty member Robby Benson (who portrayed famous Kansas and Native American Olympian Billy Mills in the film "Running Brave"). One the few THX-certified cinemas in the nation, it also has access to more than 82,000 film reels and related materials in the university's archives, including collections from filmmakers John Ford and Orson Welles. 

14. Well-known IU Bloomington alumni include Jonathan Banks, star of "Breaking Bad" and "Community"; Ryan Murphy, the creator of the popular television programs "Glee" and "Nip/Tuck"; Michael Higgins, Ireland's ninth president; Mark Cuban, a successful business magnate and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks; Will Shortz, crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times; Michael Uslan, executive producer of the "Batman" movies; Suzanne Collins, author of the "Hunger Games" books; Meg Cabot, author of "The Princess Diaries"; Sage Steele, ESPN sports anchor; Dick Enberg, legendary sports broadcaster; Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia; Hoagy Carmichael, composer of such American pop standards as "Star Dust" and "Georgia on My Mind"; Ernie Pyle, legendary war correspondent; journalists Tavis Smiley, Anthony DeCurtis, Sherri Sylvester and Jane Pauley; actors Kevin Kline and Sarah Clarke; and Grammy winners Sylvia McNair, Booker T. Jones and Joshua Bell.

15. IU alumni who have distinguished themselves on the basketball court and in other sports include Trent Green, former quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs; Mark Spitz, an Olympic gold medalist in 1968 and 1972; George Taliaferro, an All-American football player who led the Hoosiers to their only undefeated championship and the first African American to be drafted by the National Football League; Steve Alford, a member of IU's 1987 national championship team and coach at UCLA; Keith Smart, also a member of the 1987 championship team and former head coach of the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors; Mike Woodson, who led IU to the 1979 NIT Championship, earned Big Ten Most Valuable Player honors in leading the Hoosiers to the 1980 Big Ten title and is former head coach of the New York Knicks; Randy Wittman, a member of IU's 1981 championship team and coach of the Washington Wizards; Isiah Thomas, the Final Four MVP when IU won the championship in 1981 and a former member of the Detroit Pistons, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and former coach of the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks; and the late Walt Bellamy, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, 1960 Olympic gold medalist, the NBA first overall pick in 1961 and Rookie of the Year in 1962.

16. More than 1,350 IU alumni call Kansas home, including 169 residents of Wichita, Kan. Alumni include Robert Gates, a Wichita native who went on to serve as director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President George H.W. Bush before serving as secretary of defense under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. There are also 419 IU alumni living in Omaha, Neb., site of Friday's game as well as the College World Series, where IU's baseball team expects to return to this spring.

17. IU athletes excel in the classroom as well as on the court and the field. IU student-athletes who enrolled from 2004-07 earned a Graduation Success Rate score of 84 percent, according to the most recent NCAA report. Six IU programs finished with a perfect 100 score. IU also excelled in the most recent NCAA report on the Academic Progress Rate, a real-time measure of eligibility and retention for Division I programs. IU’s men’s basketball team was the only one in the Big Ten to earn a perfect APR score of 1,000; in fact, coach Tom Crean’s squad has earned a perfect APR score for four straight years.

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Famous IU alumni include "Breaking Bad" star Jonathan Banks, who returned to campus last fall to celebrate the inauguration of IU's Media School.

Famous IU alumni include "Breaking Bad" star Jonathan Banks, who returned to campus last fall to celebrate the inauguration of IU's Media School.

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Kelley students

Kelley School of Business students last year celebrated a No. 8 ranking by Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Underwater archaeologist Charles Beeker measures one of many ballast stones at the possible site of the Santa Maria shipwreck.

Underwater archaeologist Charles Beeker measures one of many ballast stones at the possible site of the Santa Maria shipwreck.

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Wichita native Robert Gates returned to campus in 2009 to receive an honorary degree from IU President Michael A. McRobbie.

Wichita native Robert Gates returned to campus in 2009 to receive an honorary degree from IU President Michael A. McRobbie.

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Media Contacts

Mark Land

Associate vice president, IU Communications

  • Office 812-856-1172

George Vlahakis

  • IU Communications
  • Office 812-855-0846
  • Cell 812-345-1500
  • IU Inc.