On This Day in IUPUI History: January 11, 1970

January 11, 1970. 

On this day, the women of the Indiana University School of Nursing basketball team played a warm-up game in preparation for their big game against the University of Tennessee School of Nursing team. The IU-UT rivalry had been longstanding. This year, the Indianapolis team was to travel to Tennessee. The warm-up game was planned as a fundraiser to defray travel costs.

The School of Nursing team's opponents in the fundraising game were "Tirmenstein's Toads," a team of IUPUI faculty and staff who played in the all-campus intramural men's league. The team was named after Robert Tirmenstein, then comptroller of the campus and later director of parking services. Among the "Toads" were campus notables P. Nicholas Kellum, then an instructor in the Normal College and later dean of the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, and Robert E. Martin, vice chancellor for administration and finance for many years. 

The Toads dressed the part to play against the School of Nursing team. We suppose the idea of the fundraiser was that people would pay good money to see the Toads in drag. (Legend has it that IUPUI chancellor Gerald L. Bepko kept a photo of Tirmenstein's Toads dressed up for the game on hand, and that he produced it at chosen moments when he needed "to cooperate" Martin and Kellum.)

We do not know the outcome of the warm-up game or that year's game against Tennessee. We encourage anyone with knowledge to contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives speccoll@iupui.edu.

Tirmenstein's Toads dressed to play the School of Nursing team, 1970

School of Nursing basketball team, 1958 UA24-004884

Updated Jan 11, 2019 by Editor Name Missing