Purdue University Fort Wayne

Purdue University Fort Wayne is a public university in Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States. A campus of Purdue University, Purdue Fort Wayne was founded on July 1, 2018, when its predecessor university, Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne formally split into two separate institutions: Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Fort Wayne.[3] About two weeks before the split took effect, the athletic program, inherited solely by Purdue Fort Wayne, changed its branding from Fort Wayne Mastodons to Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons.[4] The university's 14 men's and women's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA Summit League.

Purdue University Fort Wayne
TypePublic coeducational
EstablishedJuly 1, 2018 (2018-07-01)
Parent institution
Purdue University system
ChancellorRonald L. Elsenbaumer
Location, ,
CampusSuburban: 688 acres (2.78 km2)[1] [2]
ColorsOld Gold and Black[2]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division ISummit League
MascotDon the Mastodon


In 1941, Purdue University permanently established the Purdue University Center in downtown Fort Wayne to provide a site for students to begin their undergraduate studies prior to transferring to the West Lafayette main campus to complete their degree. Twenty-four years earlier, Indiana University also began offering courses in Fort Wayne.[5] From 1958–1964, both universities began the process of combining the two extension centers into one joint university, known as Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).

IPFW opened on September 17, 1964, following nearly two years of construction on a 114 acres (0.46 km2) site northeast of downtown Fort Wayne. It awarded its first four-year degree in 1968.[5] Eight years later, in 1976, IPFW absorbed the Fort Wayne Art Institute, an art school that had served the Fort Wayne community since 1897. In 1998, this academic unit was renamed the School of Fine and Performing Arts, later becoming the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

After several years of talks between IPFW, Purdue, and IU, IPFW was divided into two universities on July 1, 2018: Purdue University Fort Wayne, and Indiana University Fort Wayne. The division moved all departments involved in health care to Indiana University Fort Wayne, and all others into Purdue University Fort Wayne. The Philosophy and Geosciences departments, however, were closed on January 1, 2017.


The Purdue Fort Wayne campus is 688 acres (2.78 km2), encompassing four main campus areas, including 40 buildings which cover 2,668,078 square feet (247,872.6 m2).[1] The Main Academic Campus, bounded by East Coliseum Boulevard (Indiana State Road 930) to the south, Crescent Avenue to the east, St. Joseph River to the west, and Canterbury Green Apartment complex and golf course to the north, includes the majority of academic and administrative buildings and parking.

The Waterfield Student Housing Campus, bounded by Crescent Avenue to the west, East Coliseum Boulevard and Trier Road to the south, and Hobson Road to the East, contains all of the privately owned residence halls. The main academic campus and Waterfield campus are connected via the Crescent Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, elevated above Crescent Avenue.

The Research-Incubator Campus, bounded by St. Joe Road to the west, Stellhorn Road to the south, Dean Drive to the north, and Sirlin Drive to the east includes the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, a business incubator for entrepreneurs. This area of the campus was acquired in 2007 after the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center's closure,[6] with the land donated between IPFW and Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

The former McKay Family Farm, located on the western bank of the St. Joseph River, is bounded by East Coliseum Boulevard to the south, St. Joseph River to the east, and development to the north and west. The Plex indoor soccer facility, Hefner Soccer Complex, Holiday Inn hotel, and Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse Alumni Center are located on this portion of the campus, connected to the main academic campus via the pedestrian-only Ron Venderly Family Bridge. The Holiday Inn operates on property leased from the Indiana–Purdue Foundation, and is affiliated with Purdue Fort Wayne's Hospitality Management Program.[7]


Campus buildings generally feature brick in various shades of brown or tan, a nod to the brick façades of Purdue University's West Lafayette campus buildings. The grounds at Purdue Fort Wayne are manicured and landscaped as a multiple-hundred-acre park due in part to the generosity of Virginia Ayers, an avid long-time exerciser on campus who willed her estate to IPFW upon her death in 1986 (IPFW University Archives).


Purdue Fort Wayne is governed by the Purdue University Board of Trustees and the Purdue Fort Wayne Faculty Senate. The Indiana–Purdue Foundation owns most of the land that constitutes Purdue Fort Wayne and has entered into a 99-year lease with Allen County for additional land for $1.


Purdue University Fort Wayne is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers more than 200 academic options.[8]

Colleges, divisions, and schools

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • College of Professional Studies
  • Richard T. Doermer School of Business and Management Sciences
  • Division of Continuing Studies[8]

Library system

The Walter E. Helmke Library, the only public university library in northeast Indiana, was dedicated in 1977 and covers 113,000 square feet (10,500 m2). Ground was broken in 2009 for a new US$42.4 million Student Services Complex, extending the second floor Learning Commons through a 265 feet (81 m)-long glass-enclosed elevated walkway, connecting Helmke Library to Walb Student Union and Hilliard Gates Sports Center. In November 2011, the Student Services Complex and Learning Commons were opened for use. The Learning Commons includes librarian research consulting, the Writing Center, IT services computing, and areas for group and individual study.[9]


Purdue Fort Wayne student athletes, known as the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons, compete as a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I school in The Summit League, and in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association for men's volleyball. The university participates in 14 men's and women's sports.


  1. "IPFW: By the Numbers" (PDF). IPFW. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
  2. Shawgo, Ron (November 9, 2017). "Color scheme change part of IPFW rebrand". The Journal Gazette. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  3. "Goodbye IPFW, hello Purdue Fort Wayne". Journal & Courier, a division of Gannett Company, Inc. April 21, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  4. "Purdue Fort Wayne Branding Released" (Press release). Purdue University Fort Wayne. June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  5. The Creation Years: Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, John Ankenbruck, Evangel Press, 1983.
  6. "Transition to Community: The Closure of Fort Wayne Developmental Center". The Council on Quality and Leadership. Archived from the original on 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2014-05-07.
  7. "Holiday Inn at IPFW and the Coliseum". Retrieved on February 10, 2009.
  8. "By the numbers". Purdue University Fort Wayne. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  9. "Library Profile". IPFW. Retrieved 2014-05-07.

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