Reason #12—August 11, 2014
Our Humble Beginnings

Gaynel R. (Musser) Murphy, alumna

In 1941, Purdue University Center opened in downtown Fort Wayne and began offering classes to the surrounding community. In 1964, Purdue joined forces with Indiana University; the two were soon located in a single building (Kettler Hall) on the campus that is now IPFW.

Gaynel (Musser) Murphy remembers this time well: “I was a freshman at Purdue downtown,” she explains. “As a sophomore I moved from a building to an actual campus and morphed from a teenager into a young adult.”

The first fall semester, there were 3,100 students enrolled. “Being at IPFW, a single building in a lovely setting, felt like actually going away to college,” says Murphy. While Purdue and Indiana were governed by two separate chancellors in that same building at the time, that would soon change. In June of 1974, Dr. Donald Schwartz became the first IPFW chancellor, successfully uniting the two universities into one campus.

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