“While enjoying the ‘Best of UIndy’ article in the Winter 2011 Portico, I began to drift through layers of memory to the early 1960s and UIndy’s precursor, Indiana Central College. I thought about the alumni
of those halcyon days and how they might respond to the questions posed to students of 2011. Allow me to take that test.” —Jim Brunnemer ’66
What’s the best residence hall to live in freshman year? In 1963 there were only two choices: Trimble Hall for freshman women and Dailey Hall for male frosh. “Austere” was the key word for a typical Dailey Hall dorm room shared by two new collegians.
Living space was limited to a 12-by-15 room for two with a tile floor, paper thin walls painted an institutional-yuck yellow, an overhead light, bunk bed, a small closet, a desk with two wooden chairs, and a cheap lamp. There was no air conditioning. Heat was generated through a radiator that clanked loudly as steam hissed into its fins.
The front door led to a small stairway to the reception room, which had one phone and a PA system to alert individual rooms when a visitor was present. A 22-inch black-and-white TV was the central feature of the sparsely furnished lounge. The basement had a rec room with a Ping-Pong table, a soda machine, and not much else. Somehow we got by without additional luxuries.
What’s the best residence hall on campus? Although the newest, most modern dorm of the era was Krannert Hall [now Cravens] for women, Dailey Hall was a favorite. It had a housemom who couldn’t hear and could barely see, an ideal environment for such creative pranks by reprobate freshmen as piling all the lounge furniture, including the TV, in the doorframe of a classmate’s room, forcing him to leap ten feet (in his PJs) from his window into the snow below in order to return and move the stuff back. Also, the inward opening doors to the rooms were perfect for leaning a bucket of water against—one of which flooded our room shortly after the furniture incident.
Which building has the best architecture? Frank Lloyd Wright had no hand in constructing the seven sad structures on campus at that time. I believe those hallmarks of architectural banality were constructed by graduates of the Izzie W. Luggenfluke School of Hammer, Mortar, and Band Aids—but I won’t swear by it.
What’s the best intramural sport/intramural activity? Intramural activities consisted of basketball and touch football. Take your pick.
What’s the best way to study? Study? The only time I visited the library was to get out of the rain or meet girls in the stacks.
What’s the best way to stay healthy on campus? Avoid the cafeteria food (I was blessed to attain a work release from the cafeteria contract because of an off-campus job). And don’t cross Virginia Cravens. Dean Cravens was a legend in protecting the virtue of her young women from the charms of beastly male scholars. She had a glare that could melt a gold ingot.
What’s the best thing to eat on campus? A sack of 15-cent hamburgers carried in from the old McDonald’s on Shelby Street.
I absolutely cannot live without: A seat next to Dick Elmore during exams. Elmo won the scholar-athlete award all four of our years together. Thanks to him I managed to graduate in the upper half of the lower third in 1966.
What’s your favorite service activity? Buying gas at Hamm’s Shell Station in Southport. They washed windows and checked the oil in those days. (Oh, you mean the other kind of service?)
What’s the best part about college? The annual [now defunct] Brown County Day.
Favorite campus events: Thrice-weekly moral teachings and admonitions at (required) Chapel. That was where I learned that you really could retain information delivered while you slept.
Best place for commuters to hang out? Mary Streets’ diner for commuters. Mary’s was the best place for any ICC student to hang out.
Best music on campus? A 78-rpm Percy Faith “mood music” album that I borrowed and never returned to Steve Lemme (I still have a few pair of his black dress socks, too).
“I salute the fine UIndy students of 2011, but I also rejoice for those alumni of former days, when ICC was a collection of students who, though deprived of the marvelous technologies and comforts of today, learned in a family atmosphere from underpaid profs and staff whose primary goal seemed to be to make others’ lives better. A degree earned at Indiana Central proved not to be a handicap; quite to the contrary, graduates of ICC were known to employers in education and business to be generally dedicated, humble, and adaptable to the constantly changing world. I wish for all those attending UIndy to create similar warm memories held by those of us who were blessed by our experience at Indiana Central College.” —Jim Brunnemer