For more than a century, Indiana University has provided higher education opportunities for northeast Indiana in Fort Wayne

(1917 to 1964)

Established in 1917, the Indiana Extension Center in Fort Wayne provided opportunities for the Fort Wayne community to enroll in extension classes. Initially housed on the third floor of the courthouse, the center relocated to 1120 South Barr Street, the former Lutheran institute, in 1939 where it remained until 1964. Under the guidance of Floyd Neff, the director from 1918-1951, enrollment at the Fort Wayne Extension Center increased substantially.

Historic photo of the Indiana Extension Center
IU and PU joint ground breaking in 1961


Upon an agreement between the trustees of IU and Purdue Universities, the State of Indiana transferred 114 acres of land, known as the Old Oak Park Farm of the Fort Wayne State School, to the trustee boards.

Just north-east of Memorial Coliseum at the Fort Wayne city limit, ground broke for the new campus on October 18, 1961. In a ceremony, IU President Elvis Stahr, left, and Purdue President Frederick L. Hovde, right, used a two-handled shovel to symbolize the cooperative arrangement between the two universities.

(1964 to 1973)

Coinciding with the move to the new campus, the IU Board of Trustees approved the Indiana-Purdue Regional Campus at Fort Wayne in 1964. Known by the abbreviation of IPFW, the Education Building was dedicated on August 27, 1964. In 1973, the building was renamed Alfred W. Kettler Hall.

original signage for Indiana Purdue regional campus
view of IU Fort Wayne campus with foot-bridge in foreground

(2016 to today)

In 2016, the Indiana General Assembly reviewed a staff report, “Report on Role and Governance of IPFW,” recommending a split. The change was implemented on July 1, 2018, and IPFW was reorganized into two separate universities: Indiana University Fort Wayne and Purdue Fort Wayne.

IU Fort Wayne officially began it’s first academic term August 20, 2018.

Sources: John Ankenbruck, The Creation Years: Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne (Fort Wayne: Indiana-Purdue Foundation, 1983); Minutes, IU Board of Trustees. Photographs: Walter E. Helmke Library, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.