USI 50th anniversary timeline unveiled, now open to public

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The photo of David L. Rice walking across a concrete barrier with mud on either side amid construction of the first university buildings on campus — the Administration/Science complex — has always been a favorite of current USI President Linda Bennett.

Although Bennett has seen it many times, she said it's fun seeing the contrast of Rice, USI's first president, in his nice shirt and fancy shoes surrounded by mud.

"I love it every time," she told the Evansville Courier & Press ( ).

Now that 1968 moment, after the state approved funding for the first buildings on USI's campus, is immortalized on USI's new 50th anniversary timeline. On Monday morning, Bennett unveiled the permanent wall-mount timeline located in the Wright Administration Building in the hallway north of Forum I.

The timeline is located opposite of the McCutchan Exhibition Space, where Traditions and Icons: 50 Years of USI Culture is displaying USI memorabilia from the past 50 years. It will be displayed through the spring semester.

Byron C. Wright, USI's first vice president of business affairs and the building's namesake, was present Monday to help Bennett reveal the timeline.

The timeline cost about $15,000, paid for through the 50th anniversary fund. It features more than 60 photos, plaques of significant dates, and logos from throughout USI's 50 years of existence. It starts with Indiana State University-Evansville in 1965, and heads through the last five decades.

"It just takes your breath away. ... I love thinking about and remembering all of the people who made this such a special university. ... We wanted it in a space that was not out of the way, but that would be easy for folks to access and that a number of people would see," Bennett said.

Byron C. Wright, USI's first vice president of business affairs and the namesake for the Wright administration building, speaks at the unveiling of a new permanent display showing a 50-year timeline of the historical events at the university.

Teresa Meyer, lead designer with Signarama, which designed the installation, said she worked to incorporate different elements such as glossy and matte images, different depths and colors.

"I'm incredibly pleased with it because seeing it on the computer is different from actually having it installed. ... It has a lot of appeal when you walk up to it," Meyer said. "It makes you want to read it; and that's the concept of what we wanted to do."

Matthew Effinger, Signarama account executive, estimated it took about four days to install the timeline, but the production of it was "much longer" because they wanted to ensure installation went smoothly.

Effinger said since Bennett is happy with the finished product, he "loves it," too. The timeline is open for public viewing.

"This has been a labor of love across campus," said Kindra Strupp, USI assistant vice president for marketing and communications. "It's great to see it up."

For more information on USI's 50th anniversary, including an interactive timeline and schedule of events, visit


Information from: Evansville Courier & Press,

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