The University of Evansville (UE) is a small, private university in Evansville, Indiana, with approximately 3,050 students. Founded in 1854 as Moores Hill College, the University features liberal arts and science degrees, most with strong cooperative learning opportunities both on and off campus. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
UE operates a satellite campus, Harlaxton College, in Grantham, England. Due in large part to Harlaxton, known as "The British Campus of the University of Evansville", nearly half of UE's students study abroad as part of their UE experience. The school is nationally renowned for its Theatre department, with alumni frequently starring in television and film roles. The University is also known as a leader in the area of New Formalism poetry as the home of The Formalist and its successor journal, Measure. The University of Evansville Press also publishes exclusively books and anthologies on formal poetry, including an annual winner of its Richard Wilbur Award.
UE athletic teams participate in Division I of the NCAA and are known as the Purple Aces. Evansville is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. The university is home to an extensive student life, with more than 155 student organizations and an active Greek community.
The University of Evansville began in 1854 when Moores Hill Male and Female Collegiate Institute was founded by John Moore in the small town of Moores Hill in southeastern Indiana. The first college building at Moores Hill, Moore Hall, was completed on December 1, 1856, although the opening day of classes for the new college were held in the unfinished building on September 9. The institution struggled financially during its time in Moores Hill, and a fire destroyed Moore Hall in 1915. The institution continued to operate in a second building, Carnegie Hall, until the move to Evansville. The former campus in Moores Hill continued operation as an elementary and high school. Carnegie Hall is now maintained as a museum.
On March 21, 1917, George S. Clifford made a presentation at a special session of the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Church. He suggested moving the college to Evansville, Indiana. Clifford produced a map that indicated a lack of colleges in the Evansville area - there were none within 50 miles of the city within Indiana. After deliberation, the school was relocated to Evansville in 1919 and renamed Evansville College. It operated in temporary quarters in downtown Evansville until Administration Hall (now Olmsted Hall) was completed in 1922. This is the only building remaining on campus from before World War II.
In the period from World War II to 1960, Evansville College grew significantly. Enrollment grew from about 400 during the Great Depression to 1,500 in 1946. Also following the war, the Science and Engineering Building and Alumni Memorial Union were commissioned. The Clifford Memorial Library was completed in 1957. Five residence halls were built between 1958 and 1967, along with a fitness center, dining hall, and an art building. In 1967, due to the institution's growth and organizational changes, the name was changed to the University of Evansville with the approval of the Indiana State General Assembly. Also in 1967, a new theater building, Hyde Hall, housing Shanklin Theater was finished.
In 2010 The University of Evansville completed early its Endowment Campaign to raise $80 million after having raised an additional $60 million five years previous to the new campaign. On April 9, 2010, the Board of Trustees selected Thomas A. Kazee, former Executive Vice President and Provost at Furman University, as the University of Evansville's 23rd president. Former president Stephen G. Jennings began retiring in May 2010. Kazee assumed Presidential duties on June 1, 2010.
US News & World Report recognized the University of Evansville as one of the 10 best regional universities in the Midwest in its annual ranking of "America's Best Colleges". Forbes magazine also lists the University of Evansville on their "Best Colleges" list.
The University of Evansville is academically organized into three colleges and two schools:
In addition to studying in the city of Evansville, the University's students can choose to study abroad in England at Harlaxton College, "The British Campus of the University of Evansville". The College was formed and controlled by Stanford University prior to its passing to The University of Evansville. The college is located about 90 miles north of London in Lincolnshire, a few miles away from the town of Grantham, England (home of Sir Isaac Newton and Margaret Thatcher). The study abroad program at the University of Evansville has consistently been rated as one of the best study abroad programs in the nation, ranked #1 in Europe and #7 globally.
UE maintains a prestigious theater program - one of the top rated programs in the nation - which features four mainstage and two studio productions a year. UE students have been invited to perform at The Kennedy Center more often than any other school in the nation, and the department has participated in the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival program since its inception in 1968. It also leads the nation in the top awards for its students as awarded by The Broadway Theatre Wing and other governing bodies of serious theatre. UE's alumni frequently star in television and film roles.
The electrical and mechanical engineering programs have been continuously accredited by ABET (the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) since 1970, and the civil engineering and computer engineering programs since 1997. The School of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and provides a variety of professional programs in accounting, economics, finance, global business, management or marketing. The Exercise Science major is endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
The University of Evansville athletic teams have the nickname the Purple Aces (originally the "Pioneers"). Both men's and women's varsity sports play at the NCAA Division I level and compete in the Missouri Valley Conference, except for the men's swimming and diving teams which compete in the Mid-American Conference
The university is known for its grassy open spaces and tree cover. The university landscape is well maintained, and many students take advantage of the spacious lawns and large shade trees.
The campus is bounded on the north by the Lloyd Expressway, the south by Lincoln Avenue, west by Rotherwood Avenue, and on the east by Weinbach Avenue. Walnut Street bisects the campus. Sesquicentennial Oval, the ceremonial entrance to campus, opens off of Lincoln Avenue. The oval was named in 2004 in commemoration of the university's 150th anniversary. The Schroeder Family School of Business, McCurdy Alumni Memorial Union, Hyde Hall, Olmsted Administration Hall, Clifford Memorial Library, and Koch (pronounced Cook) Center for Science and Engineering surround Sesquicentennial Oval. Most of the buildings follow an old limestone motif, and renovations generally emulate the rest of the building.
The Administration Hall and the President's House and Circle were named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
In the 2008-2009 Academic school year, the University of Evansville captured a title in the Concrete Canoe over perennial winners, the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The winning canoe, named Sauske, will compete at the national convention in Alabama. The American Society of Civil Engineers at UE also claimed top honors at the same conference competition. The ASCE chapter at UE has been increasing their placing in their region since 2004, steadily increasing in the ranks despite hard competition from renowned engineering schools like Purdue and UW–Madison.
Alumni include numerous prominent entertainers, sports stars, and others. Among them are Matt Williams, producer and writer of The Cosby Show, Home Improvement, and Roseanne, Jack McBrayer, actor on 30 Rock, and Jerry Sloan, NBA player and Hall of Fame head coach.