Fast facts about Indiana University for media covering the 2016 NCAA women's tourney

  • March 16, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In advance of Indiana University's competition in the Lexington Region of the NCAA women's basketball championship, here are some behind-the-scenes facts about the Hoosiers.

If you have any questions or need to reach anyone at IU, contact Ryan Piurek at 812-855-5393, 812-340-1018 (cell) or

1. Indiana University -- with nearly 115,000 students at eight accredited four-year degree-granting institutions 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 (42,588 degree-seeking students) surpassed the 40,000-student mark for the eighth 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 on-site research 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. In addition to its success on the hardwood, IU has many successful academic programs. The 6,200-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. IU has been a pioneer in online education, and Kelley's online MS program is ranked No. 1 and its online MBA is ranked No. 2 by U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News ranks IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs as the No. 1 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 School of Global and International Studies offers many opportunities for international education, 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 seven federally funded Title VI national resource and language centers, four federally funded Language Flagship programs and 21 international institutes and programs. The school is also one of five founding institutions in the Carnegie International Policy Scholars Consortium, which connects basic research in the social sciences and humanities with policy-relevant investigations and analysis. The school is led by Lee Feinstein, former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Poland, who 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. This fall, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry helped to celebrate the opening of the school's new home on the Bloomington campus.

7. More than 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 50 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 25 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. Other IU faculty have been awarded Pulitzers, Oscars and Emmys, as well as major research grants from the National Science Foundation and the Ford, Guggenheim, Rockefeller and MacArthur foundations.

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. Last year, 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. In an effort to address some of the most urgent challenges facing the state, nation and the world, IU has launched the most ambitious research program in the university's history. IU will invest at least $300 million over five years in a Grand Challenges research program to develop transformative solutions for some of the planet's most pressing problems. The program will address challenges that are too big to ignore -- such as global water supplies; the availability of energy; infectious diseases; harnessing the power of, and protecting, big data; and climate change -- by catalyzing collaborative and interdisciplinary research, as well as new partnerships with community organizations, industry and government.

10. IU has launched two 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.

11. 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.

12. IU is the home of the world-famous Kinsey Institute, 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.

13. 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. Jacobs alumni include Grammy winners Joshua Bell, Sylvia McNair and Booker T. Jones.

14. 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, Werner Herzog, Glenn Close, Roger Corman and faculty member Robby Benson. 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. 

15. On Saturday, IU meets the University of Georgia Bulldogs in first-round play. Nearly 7,000 IU alumni live in the greater Atlanta area, and another 265 IU alumni reside in Athens, Ga., where the University of Georgia is located. If North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University pulls a major upset and defeats No. 1 seed Notre Dame, the 562 IU alumni in the Greensboro, N.C., area will be rooting for the Hoosiers.

16. Well-known IU alumni now making a name for themselves in books, film, television and music include Suzanne Collins, author of the "Hunger Games" books; Kevin Kline, an Academy and Tony Award-winning actor; Michael Uslan, executive producer of the "Batman" movies; Jonathan Banks, star of "Breaking Bad," "Better Call Saul" and "Community"; Ryan Murphy, the creator of the popular television programs "Glee" "American Horror Story" and "Nip/Tuck"; Will Shortz, crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times; Meg Cabot, author of "The Princess Diaries"; and actress Sarah Clarke. The late Hoagy Carmichael composed such American pop standards as "Star Dust" and "Georgia on My Mind." Other IU alumni include Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, Ireland's President Michael Higgins and journalists Ernie Pyle, the legendary war correspondent, Tavis Smiley, Anthony DeCurtis, Sherri Sylvester and Jane Pauley.

17. Basketball fans will recognize these IU alumni who have contributed to the game's success off the court: Mark Cuban, a successful business magnate and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks; Sage Steele, ESPN sports anchor; and Dick Enberg, a legendary sports broadcaster who has covered many Final Fours. On the court, former Hoosiers include New York Knicks great Walt Bellamy, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, 1960 Olympic gold medalist, and the NBA first overall pick in 1961; Mike Woodson, a veteran NBA coach who led IU to the 1979 NIT Championship, and Isiah Thomas, the Final Four MVP when IU won the championship in 1981 and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. 

18. In the NCAA's most recent Graduation Success Rate, IU student-athletes earned a score of 87 percent -- the highest in that metric's eight-year history. In 2014-15, 13 IU teams had perfect Academic Progress Rates of 1,000, a real-time measure of eligibility and retention for Division I programs. Thirty-seven IU athletes in 2014-15 achieved the distinction of being Distinguished Scholars. Four members of the IU women's basketball team are Academic All-Big Ten recipients.

19. IU research has helped brighten the smiles of basketball fans and millions of people around the world. In 1955, IU dental scientist Joseph Muhler, IU chemist William Nebergall and head of the IU chemistry department Harry Day filed a patent for a toothpaste that used stannous fluoride and a calcium pyrophosphate abrasive -- the formulation that Procter & Gamble soon named Crest, which revolutionized dental care. Crest was first sold nationally in 1956. Other toothpaste makers soon followed with similar dental hygiene products.

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IU Hoosiers huddle before tipoff on Feb. 27 against Penn State.

IU Hoosiers huddle before tipoff on Feb. 27 against Penn State.

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Famous IU alumni include ESPN sportscaster Sage Steele, who spoke at the 2015 commencement

Famous IU alumni include ESPN sportscaster Sage Steele, who spoke at the 2015 commencement.

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'Breaking Bad" star and IU alumnus Jonathan Banks frequently returns to campus, including when he helped celebrate the inauguration of The Media School at Indiana University.

'Breaking Bad" star and IU alumnus Jonathan Banks frequently returns to campus, including when he helped celebrate the inauguration of The Media School at Indiana University.

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

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

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Media Contacts

Ryan Piurek

  • Office 812-855-5393
  • Cell 812-340-1018
  • Btown Banter

George Vlahakis

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