September 10, 1971
On this day, the Classroom-Administration Building on the IUPUI campus was renamed Cavanaugh Hall.
In the 1960s, Indiana University leaders planned to move university units scattered around Indianapolis to the near-west-side area on West Michigan Street where the IU Medical Center was located, thereby creating an IU-Indianapolis campus. They planned three buildings to house consolidated undergraduate programs: a large classroom/office tower originally of nine floors (later reduced to five), a Lecture Hall, and a University Library building. Construction began in 1968, prior to the merger of Purdue and IU programs in the city.
Administrators named the classroom and office building after Robert E. Cavanaugh (1881-1960), longtime director of IU's Extension Division. Born and raised in Washington County, Indiana, Cavanaugh was a teacher, high-school principal, and school superintendent in Washington County. In 1917 he began work with the recently created IU-Extension Division, an effort to bring higher education to Indiana residents where they lived. Starting as an instructor, in 1921 he became director of the Extension Division with his offices in Indianapolis. During his twenty-five year tenure as director, the number of extension locations grew from two to eight, and he devised the plan to afford students their first two years of study at Extension centers (the final two to be completed at Bloomington). He stepped down as director in 1946 and continued on the faculty until 1956.
Cavanaugh Hall opened and initially housed a wide variety of schools and programs, including Social Work. But soon the building became the exclusive preserve of the School of Liberal Arts.
To learn more about IUPUI's rich history, please contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives firstname.lastname@example.org.