On This Day in IUPUI History: November 18, 1977

November 18, 1977. 

On this day, a recommendation to change IUPUI's name to the University of Indianapolis received a first reading in an IUPUI Student Association meeting. The recommendation was based on a survey of students, which reported that 36 percent preferred "University of Indianapolis." 28 percent were fine with IUPUI, and 27 percent wanted "Indiana University." 

Subsequently, the recommendation passed on second reading and formed the meat of a resolution to be presented to the IU Board of Trustees. The Student Association president, Bruno Komakech, read the resolution to the assembled Trustees at their December 9 meeting. According to the Sagamore, the IUPUI student newspaper, trustee Richard B. Stoner "noted that 55 percent of the respondents apparently preferred having the words 'Indiana University' in the name of the school." Komakech replied that "64 percent favored a name change of some sort [and] asked that the sentiments of the students be taken seriously."

Since the creation of the merged campus of IU and Purdue University operations in Indianapolis in 1969, everyone--students, staff, faculty, and city residents--debated the merits and drawbacks of the IUPUI name. City newspapers speculated on the issue. Campus administrators conducted surveys and market studies gauging public attitudes about the name. Some on campus evinced sensitivities about "Oo-ee-poo-ee," finding the acronym distasteful. A private college on the city's southside, Indiana Central College, stole a march on IUPUI and in 1986 changed its name to the University of Indianapolis. Since then few have made (audible) noises about IUPUI's name.  

Student government representatives before 25th anniversary banner, 1995 195-5976-005

Just for the record, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is not the longest university name in the USA. The winner is California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.

If some day you find yourself at loose ends and want to study IUPUI's anxiety about its name, please come to IUPUI Special Collections and Archives speccoll@iupui.edu.

Updated Nov 18, 2018 by Editor Name Missing