Favorite IU Places
Originally published January/February 2008
What brings back cherished memories of one’s college years more than that favorite spot on campus? Where is your favorite IU place? Several months ago, we asked, and you responded.
Assembly Hall, Dunn’s Woods, Beck Chapel, the view of the lake in New Albany, Ball Residence at IUPUI, the Jordan River, the Rose Well House – these are some of the favorite places at Indiana University mentioned by you, our readers and fellow alumni.
From the responses of nearly 150 alumni to our query, the Indiana Memorial Union at IU Bloomington was far and away the most mentioned campus favorite. Alumni from five IU campuses participated.
Peace and tranquility, lively music, a classic ball game, a special guy or girl – these and more come to mind at the recollection of that particular space you remember best. Take a trip down Indiana University’s memory lane and revisit the places your fellow alumni recounted as their favorite spots.
Rose Well House
My favorite place is on the Bloomington campus. Nestled under the canopy of leaves is the Well House. There is a gentle breeze, and you can hear the bells chiming from the bell tower. It is especially sentimental to me, since that is where my husband of 28 years proposed.
— Debra Lambur Ritz, BA’78; Fort Worth, Texas
Indiana Memorial Union
I always felt so much at home at the Indiana Memorial Union. It is probably one of the nicest and most exquisite college campus buildings I have ever seen, and I was able to take the pleasure in studying there, hanging out there, working there, and attending conferences there all four years. I really miss that building, and it will probably be the first building I go visit when I travel back to Bloomington over the summer.
— Lindsey Mattsson, BA’06; Staten Island, N.Y.
There were so many special spots on the IU campus (plus one coffee shop just off campus) that I remember with so much affection: the woods between Ballantine Hall and Read quadrangle, indeed all the wooded areas in the old, central core of campus; the old main library, with its dark wood and broad tables: a quiet respite from busy campus life—although a real pain to obtain books from the stacks (only “certain people” had easy access). Still, it was a wonderful place to study, at least until 10:30, when girls had to be in their dorms or houses.
But, my favorite place? Hands down it was the Student Union on Sunday mornings in the winter—the library was closed and there were few of us out studying. Fires were burning in the fireplaces and there were easy chairs to sink into or small tables along the walls affording comfortable study to the few hardy souls who ventured out. The faces became familiar, and I was enveloped in comfort and security. I adored my four years at IU and treasure the education I received. I had wonderful professors—true educators, people who loved their fields and enjoyed teaching their students. What a privilege it was to attend such a wonderful school on such a beautiful campus.
— Paulette Rubin Margulies, BA’65; Highland Park, Ill.
Musical Arts Center
My favorite place was the Musical Arts Center on Monday nights. The free jazz ensemble concerts were terrific. It was very rarely packed, you could slip in unnoticed, enjoy great (and free!) music, do homework, escape bothersome roommates, enjoy a date, or just relax. It was a wonderful way to end a tough Monday, and I always came out refreshed.
— Hillary Heflin Person, BA’98; Bloomington, Ind.
Assembly Hall and coach R.M. Knight were, of course, larger than life during my time at IU. The success nationally as well as the graduation of his team’s players were benchmarks of this great university. Cherished memories.
— Richard Sobczak, BS’90; Maumee, Ohio
Sometimes, while at work, I find myself dreaming of the path along Jordan River between the library and Delta Gamma. I will never forget the fall in Bloomington, blissfully walking to class, across the bridge, through the woods while listening to the soft trickling waters of the river to arrive for a not-so-pleasant statistics class in Ballantine. Nevertheless, nothing can compare to the beauty of IU’s beautiful campus, adorned with the colors of fall on a brisk October day.
— Danielle Blount, BS’05; Atlanta
My favorite place at IU Bloomington was Dunn Meadow, because it was the site of a celebration of the first Earth Day and also a gathering place for many of the rallies centering on the “love, peace, anti-war” theme.
— Susan Smith Collins, BA’71; Chesterton, Ind.
It was the number one spot on campus for our “cheap” dates, not to mention a great place to actually study! Those study dates led to a marriage of 27 years and two children and one more IU grad.
— Katie, BS’02
A close second would have to be Assembly Hall. We’re still avid basketball fans. One look in our family room shows Hoosier Hysteria reigns, even though we reside in Ohio.
— Debbie Henry Flege, BA’80, David Flege, BA’79; Cincinnati
The area of virgin forest starting near the Well House. If you go to just the right place, and when there are leaves on the trees, you see none of the buildings that surround it. Peace, tranquility, and follow the red brick road. May it last forever.
— Michael Bash, BA’66, MS’73; Thessaloniki, Greece
Beck Chapel was my favorite place to drop in, being located right in the middle of campus, for a little quiet reflective prayer time between classes. My girlfriend and I liked it so much that we were married there on Sept. 4, 1965.
— James Shields, BS’67, MS’71; Bloomington, Ind.
While three campuses within the IU community are very dear to my heart, one particular site elicits fond memories. It is the Ball Residence in Indianapolis on the IU Medical Center campus. It served as my initial home away from home as a freshman nursing student. The personalities of faculty, secretaries, and our house mother linger still. And the friendships of fellow nurses have endured for 55 years. Thus, I toast my long-ago experiences within the hall of Ball Residence, and most appreciatively say, “Hail to old IU.”
— Molly Wilson Johnson, ASN’68; Clarksville, Ind.
IU Southeast: the booths in the cafeteria with a view of the lake—back then there wasn’t much at the lake, so folks didn’t spend much time out there. But the booths had a great view, and it was one of the few places you could hang out back then.
— Lisa Eagleson-Roever, BS’89; Indianapolis
IU South Bend
The Commons in Northside Hall at IU South Bend. It was a place to meet—to study (alone and in a group), lighten the load (tension), meet new people as well as my friends, hook up informally with faculty and staff, and finally slug down some coffee and “machine food” to keep me going.
— Carol J. Evans, BA’73; Mishawaka, Ind.
My favorite place at IU East was Tutorial Services. I was a student worker there, working as both a writing tutor and an office assistant. The staff there was excellent and the job skills I developed have greatly influenced my career choice. Plus, many of my friends were tutors as well, so we always had a good time. To eliminate the stress of preparing for final exams, my fellow tutors and I would all pitch in and order pizzas for the students working in the labs. We quickly became a popular site on campus!
— Erin Miller, BA’02; Dublin, Ind.