Indiana State University Newsroom

Homecoming to kick off sesquicentennial celebration

September 30, 2015

This fall's Indiana State University Homecoming Oct. 16-17 will launch a five-year celebration of the university's sesquicentennial era, marking the 150th anniversary of the period from 1865 when legislation was passed creating the Indiana State Normal School and the start of classes in 1870.

"It is important to celebrate this milestone as a demonstration of our belief and commitment to the mission and values of Indiana State and as recognition of its growth and development and the many contributions its students, faculty, staff and alumni have made to our community, state, nation and world" said university President Dan Bradley.

Rededication of Normal Hall, the new home of University College and the Center for Student Success, is scheduled for Oct. 16 at 10:15 a.m. The university's original library and the oldest academic building on campus recently underwent a more than $16 million restoration that included reconstruction of a stained-glass dome containing the names of 24 educators and philosophers. A reception and tours will follow the rededication.

Other Homecoming events include the Sycamore Tricycle Derby on Friday and Blue and White Parade at 9 a.m. Saturday, running from Ninth and Cherry streets to Wabash Avenue and then west on Wabash before turning north on Fifth Street and ending at Tippecanoe Street.

After the parade, Tent City at Memorial Stadium provides alumni an opportunity to reconnect with the university. A special event this year will allow alumni, faculty, staff and students to offer brief oral histories that will be recorded on video and placed in the university archives. The football game against Southern Illinois is set for 3:05 p.m. Saturday. During halftime, the Marching Sycamores will perform a new fanfare commissioned especially for the university's sesquicentennial and written by Grammy Award-winning composer Libby Larson.


 Brad Balch, professor of educational leadership and dean emeritus of the Bayh College of Education will serve as grand marshal for this year's Homecoming parade.

"It is truly a pleasure to serve as this year's grand marshal. Equally exciting is participating during the beginning of the university's sesquicentennial era celebration," said Balch, whose family moved to Terre Haute from Illinois in the late 1800s to operate a downtown dry goods business.

Family members have attended Indiana State and the university's Lab School for more than 90 years. Balch, his wife, Tonya, and children Greg and Katy are all ISU alumni.


"We give the university much credit for the professional successes we've enjoyed," Balch said. "Homecoming is an exciting time with something for everyone and I look forward to participating."


Photo: - - Sycamore Sam and Indiana State University cheerleaders walk ahead of the Marching Sycamores in the 2014 Blue and White Homecoming Parade Oct. 11, 2014.

Photo: - Brad Balch, dean emeritus of Indiana State University's Bayh College of Education, will serve as grand marshal for the 2015 Blue and White Homecoming Parade.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or