Button Menu

The University

A DePauw Education

Nationally recognized for a distinctive liberal arts approach that links intellectual rigor with life's work, DePauw University prepares graduates who creatively address the challenges of the world. 

DePauw is a coeducational, residential liberal arts institution. The University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences. In addition, there are three degree options within the School of Music.

The study of the liberal arts provides a foundation for a lifetime of learning, intellectual challenge and personal growth. At DePauw, it allows students to explore widely and come to appreciate how different ways of knowing may interact, yet it also encourages sustained and focused inquiry. Through the program of general education, students not only learn about, but also participate in, a variety of artistic, humanistic and scientific endeavors. Majors encourage students to understand what it means to master a subject or area of knowledge.

A DePauw education means more than gathering knowledge. It emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, interpretation, learning through experience and learning through reflection. Along with developing ideas, it emphasizes expressing them articulately and distinctively in speaking and writing.

The liberal arts curriculum is dynamic and incorporates emerging fields as well as interdisciplinary approaches to ideas, culture and human experience. A DePauw education asserts that developing a global perspective and an appreciation and tolerance for a more diverse society are vital for living in an increasingly interdependent world.

Since its founding by frontier Methodists, DePauw has sought to foster moral reflection and humane values among its students. Its strong tradition of service to humanity – whether in the Greencastle community or around the world – manifests its belief that moral engagement and civic responsibility should guide our actions and commitments.

DePauw is a place where world leaders discuss the issues of the day. Speakers on campus have included former President Bill Clinton; Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev; retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin L. Powell; former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher; anthropologist and conservationist Jane Goodall; former First Lady Barbara Bush; civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Julian Bond; Nobel Prize winners, including Holocaust writer Elie Weisel, Liberian women’s rights activist Leymah Gbowee, former South African President F. W. de Klerk, physicist Leon Lederman and DePauw alumnus Dr. Ferid Murad; journalists, including Carl Bernstein of Watergate-fame, Candy Crowley of CNN, Bernard Shaw of ABC News and George Will of the Washington Post; novelists, including Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner Toni Morrison, Roger Wilkins and alumna Barbara Kingsolver; retired Apollo 13 astronaut James A. Lovell Jr.; and important voices in the marketplace of ideas, such as former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, advisor to President George W. Bush Karl Rove, Obama for America Campaign Manager David Plouffe, award-winning director and screenwriter Jason Reitman, educator and social critic Jonathan Kozol, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author James B. Stewart, an alumnus.

It is a place for theater and debate, self-expression and self-understanding, art exhibits and musical recitals, student publications and media productions. As a residential college, DePauw fosters learning in how to build and govern a community. Students occupy many positions of responsibility in living units and campus organizations, and DePauw is deeply committed to realizing the ideals of civic responsibility in itself as a community. Among these ideals are the inclusion of diversity and respect for difference so that all can be members of the community without all being alike.

DePauw is a place for activity. Its variety of intercollegiate and intramural sports and recreation programs invites every student's participation and promotes an active, healthy life.

Finally, DePauw is a place where the intellect is challenged by experience. Through internships, off-campus study and research projects, DePauw students enrich the classroom with practice and application.

Much of DePauw's reputation for excellence can be attributed to the uncommon success of its alumni. DePauw graduates have distinguished themselves in the arts, business, education, government, journalism, law, medicine, music, science and many other fields.

DePauw University Mission Statement

DePauw University develops leaders the world needs through an uncommon commitment to the liberal arts. 

DePauw's diverse and inclusive learning and living experience, distinctive in its rigorous intellectual engagement and its global and experiential learning opportunities, leads to a life of meaning and means. DePauw prepares graduates who support and create positive change in their communities and the world. 

(Updated 2017)  

The Purpose and Aims of DePauw

(An institutional statement approved by the faculty.)

DePauw University stands today as a prime example of the independent liberal arts college which has served its state and nation in the best traditions of American educational institutions. It views the normal four-year period of college as a foundation for a lifetime of continued learning and growth. Therefore, while it stresses particular patterns of prevocational and pre-professional learning, it does so in the context of a commitment to an examination of values, a pursuit of heightened aptitude in critical thinking and the establishment of a sufficiently broad base of general learning to constitute a foundation for living with meaning as well as making a living.

DePauw reaffirms its commitment to academic excellence, growth in personal and social awareness and preparation for leadership.

The primary intellectual aims of the University are to seek and understand many truths and to educate the whole student.

Students who graduate from DePauw will: 


1. Love learning and exude a commitment to continued learning throughout their lives.

2. Appreciate varied disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods for acquiring knowledge and demonstrate the ability to synthesize knowledge from multiple disciplines.

3. Understand and value artistic, cultural, and scientific achievements and the limits of those achievements, past and present. 

4. Understand and appreciate cultures, languages and groups different than their own and regularly reflect on domestic and global issues of power, privilege and diversity.

5. Identify and solve well-defined and ill-defined problems both collaboratively and individually, and apply these skills to problems facing humanity.

6. Demonstrate competency with varied forms of data analysis including organizing, interpreting, and drawing conclusions from quantitative and qualitative information.


7. Demonstrate knowledge of technology and its implications in society and be able to leverage technology, where appropriate, for creative activities or innovative solutions to problems.

8. Develop capacities for clear, thorough, and independent thought that demonstrates the ability to analyze arguments on the basis of evidence and to understand the value and limitations of multiple types of evidence.


9. Clearly express their ideas and the ideas of others to varied audiences, both in writing and orally.


10. Engage in serious reflection on the moral and ethical aspects of situations and cultivate a commitment to act in the world for good.


11. Embrace healthy and sustainable living through self-reflection and commitment to cultivating positive relationships with others, and both the global and local environment.

12. Attain a deep understanding of a subject area to appreciate the value of depth of knowledge and to serve as a foundation for future learning.

* * *

These intentions shape the pattern of DePauw University's environment and direct its activities. Students and deans, staff and alumni, faculty and president are all members of a community whose governance they share. Ours is a residential campus with provision for a variety of student lifestyles; and because of its residential nature, students and faculty exchange ideas outside as well as within the classroom and seminar, and students have the benefit of experience in governing themselves and living with others.

The DePauw curriculum is designed to introduce students to basic methods and areas of inquiry; to develop their analytic abilities; to improve their skills in writing and speech; to broaden their perspectives on humanity and culture; to give them an understanding of the contemporary world and the human prospect for the next decades; to offer them intensive training and mastery of at least one subject area; to prepare them for future careers; and to afford them the foundation for more advanced and professional studies.

DePauw provides individual guidance to meet the particular educational and emotional needs of students and to assist them in identifying personal career preferences and possibilities. It seeks to conserve and develop physical health and has a tradition of athletic competition for men and women in a variety of intercollegiate and intramural sports, with an emphasis on participation and preparation for lifelong recreational pursuits. DePauw is a place of theatre and debate, of art exhibits and recitals, of publications and many other activities. Its honorary societies recognize academic excellence, leadership and outstanding achievement in special fields.

DePauw seeks to encourage in its students the capacity to ask hard and basic questions about the world, themselves and their commitments; to elicit a serious interest and a delight in ideas and books and works of art; to provide the intellectual setting for those who enter its community to become wise and humane persons; and to prepare them for a lifetime of service to the wider human community.

History of the University

DePauw University was founded in 1837. The original name, Indiana Asbury University, came from the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church, Francis Asbury. At its conception, the school was to be an ecumenical institution of national stature. In fact, the college was "forever to be conducted on the most liberal principles, accessible to all religious denominations and designed for the benefit of our citizens in general."

Greencastle was the chosen site because the community worked diligently to raise $25,000--a huge sum in those days--to convince the Methodists to establish their college in the rough, frontier village. The General Assembly of the State of Indiana granted a charter for the establishment of the University on January 10, 1837, and the cornerstone of the first building was laid that year.

Three years later the first president, Matthew Simpson, a friend and counselor of Abraham Lincoln, was inaugurated, and the first college class graduated. Over several decades, the curriculum developed from a traditional classical one to a set of courses that included history, composition and the natural sciences.

From its humble beginnings of one professor and five students, Asbury College grew quickly, although many men left the University to fight for either the North or South during the Civil War. In 1867, with the strong support of the faculty and Board of Trustees, the college admitted a small group of women.

In 1870 the construction of East College began. Although it took several years to build, East College was and still is the centerpiece of the campus. During the economic hardships of the 1870s, businessman Washington C. DePauw and his family generously gave more than $600,000 to the University, and in appreciation the trustees authorized the change in name to DePauw University.

W. C. DePauw and his family took a special interest in the formation and progress of the School of Music, which was founded in 1884 and is one of the oldest in the country.

Two other benefactors have helped shape the history of DePauw. In 1919 Edward Rector gave $2.5 million for the establishment of the Rector Scholarship Fund. DePauw alumni Ruth Clark and Philip Forbes Holton gave a total of $128 million, and in 1999 the Holton Memorial Fund was established in order to provide scholarships to students of "high character and with academic and leadership potential." Both scholarship funds continue to make it possible for deserving students to pursue a DePauw education.

Indiana's first Phi Beta Kappa chapter is located at DePauw. Admittance is limited to students with high academic achievement. Strength in one field is not enough, as Phi Beta Kappa expects its members to show an interest and aptitude in a broad and well-rounded liberal arts education. Considerations of moral character and contributions to the community enter in, but the dominant factors are academic.

DePauw University boasts a number of other "firsts." It is home to the first sorority in the nation, Kappa Alpha Theta, established in 1870. The Alpha chapter of Alpha Chi Omega sorority was founded at DePauw.

DePauw students founded Sigma Delta Chi, a national journalistic honorary fraternity in 1909. It spread to other campuses and today is also known as The Society of Professional Journalists.

Other DePauw firsts include the first 10-watt college FM radio station in the country, WGRE-FM, which went on the air in 1949. DePauw's student-managed newspaper, The DePauw, is the oldest college newspaper in Indiana.

DePauw, under the leadership of its 19th president, has a distinguished faculty and an academically talented student body. Although the University has undergone many changes through the years, the sense of its history is still obvious on the campus and in its traditions.



The University or specific degree programs are accredited by:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • University Senate of the United Methodist Church
  • Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society
  • Indiana State Board of Education
  • National Association of Schools of Music

Campus Facilities

Visitors are often struck by the beauty of the DePauw campus and the quality of its facilities. From the campus's historic centerpiece, East College, to its expanded Percy Lavon Julian Science & Mathematics Center and the Eugene S. Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media, DePauw presents its community of learners with a physical plant that is equal or superior to other undergraduate liberal arts institutions.

The AAAS House, located on Hanna Street, provides meeting, social space and kitchen facilities for the Association of African-American Students and its activities.

Asbury Hall is the north building in a quadrangle that includes Roy O. West Library and Harrison Hall. Asbury Hall provides classroom and office space for the departments and professors of education, English, philosophy, political science, sociology and anthropology. The Academic Resource Center is located on the first floor.

The Bartlett Alumni House, located on Seminary Street, is named for Dean Edward R. Bartlett, former professor in religious education and dean of the University from 1941 through 1947. Its renovation was made possible through a gift from James and Susan Bartelsmeyer Bartlett, both members of the class of 1966. James Bartlett is Dean Bartlett's grandson. The house, originally built in the 1880s, has served as a series of private residences, an Episcopal church, a former DePauw president's home, and the student affairs office. The house was converted to a home-away-from-home for DePauw's alumni in 1998 and now serves as the headquarters for DePauw's alumni relations office.

The Eugene S. Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media houses all student media: The DePauw; WGRE-FM, the student-run 24-hour radio station; Midwestern Review, the campus literary magazine; and the Mirage, the DePauw yearbook. Also located in the media center are complete television production and broadcasting facilities – all available to students no matter what their major or class year. The Watson Forum is a 91-seat auditorium for live performances and talks that can also be broadcast on local cable television.

Charter House, located on Seminary Street, houses the offices of development, communications and media relations.

The DePauw University Nature Park, a 481-acre nature park just one-third mile west of campus, is the newest addition to DePauw and the community. The park features nearly 10 miles of trails for walking, jogging, hiking and biking, a canoe launch, a campground and outdoor classrooms. The Manning Environmental Field Station, with lab space and attached greenhouses, opened in the Fall of 2005. The Ian and Mimi Rolland Welcome and Activities Center, which opened in the Spring of 2006, serves as a trailhead building for groups visiting the park.

Also located in the Nature Park are the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics and the Bartlett Reflection Center. A generous gift from Janet W. Prindle '58 funded the construction of a state of-the-art facility that houses the Institute which bears her name. Standing on the knoll of an old quarry site that is being reclaimed as an extension of the DePauw University campus, the Institute's beautiful natural setting provides an inspirational environment for gatherings to mine new veins of research, dialogue and teaching that probe the issues and concerns of ethical theory and practice. Adjacent to The Prindle Institute for Ethics, the Bartlett Reflection Center provides a place for individual and group reflections in a quiet, natural setting. The two buildings are joined by a series of waterfalls and streams of water. The Reflection Center complements the Institute by offering a space conducive to meditation and contemplation.

Many well-known speakers have given convocations in East College's Meharry Hall. The oldest building on campus and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, East College also provides classrooms and offices for the economics, classical studies, history and foreign language departments and is home to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

The newly renovated and expanded William Weston Clarke Emison Building serves as the home of the University's Admission and Financial Aid Offices. It is also home to the University’s Shidzuo Iikubo Museum and its Arthur E. Klauser Asian and World Community Collection, a gallery for the Vandiver-Haimann Collection of African Art.

The F.W. Olin Biological Sciences Building is designed for undergraduate research. In fact, there are more laboratories than classrooms, reflecting DePauw's view that students learn more when they are "doing science" than when they are being lectured about science. The building features subject-area laboratories: anatomy and physiology, animal biology, botany, genetics, environmental sciences and microbiology. Each faculty member has an individual laboratory to encourage collaborative, research-based undergraduate science education. Other features of the building are a tissue culture facility for research and teaching immunology and a climate-zone and computer-operated greenhouse.

The Grover L. Hartman House for Civic Education and Leadership provides administrative office space, meeting rooms and work spaces for all of DePauw's student volunteer service programs, including Winter Term in Service, DePauw Community Services and the Bonner Scholars Program. The house is named for Grover L. Hartman, a 1935 graduate of DePauw and a Methodist layperson who spent his life as an advocate for a multitude of social, political and economic causes.

The Indoor Tennis and Track Center opened in 2001 and is one of the finest indoor facilities in the country. Located west of Blackstock Stadium, the 300,000-square-foot center includes six tennis courts, a 200-meter track, batting cages for baseball and softball, golf nets, putting green and executive locker rooms for men and women (two each). It also can accommodate indoor soccer, football, field hockey and other sports. It allows students to exercise, participate and train in a variety of sports all year long.

The Durham House accommodates office and meeting space for the University's international education activities and Winter Term programs, a library of information about off-campus study programs, both in the United States and abroad, and resources on immigration regulations for international students.

John H. Harrison Hall, renovated in 2008, is home to the classical studies, history, economics and psychology departments. The third floor houses the offices of Academic Affairs and the Career Center.

The Lilly Physical Education and Recreation Center is home to men's and women's intercollegiate athletics, intramurals, kinesiology department classrooms and offices, leisure-time sports, concerts and intercollegiate athletic contests. Neal Fieldhouse, with its multi-use surface, provides space for three basketball courts, seven volleyball courts, eight badminton courts, and press box. The fieldhouse may be divided into three separate areas to isolate activities. It seats a maximum of 2,000. An auxiliary gymnasium on the second floor provides one full-size basketball court, three badminton courts, one volleyball court, three fencing lanes and 18- and 25-meter archery firing lanes. A separate dance studio provides space for aerobics, dancercise, jazzercise, slimnastics and ballet events. The 5,600-square-foot weight room and fitness center addition to the Lilly Center offers state-of-the-art exercise equipment and free weights designed to meet the needs of the DePauw community. The martial arts use Lilly Center's multi-purpose room on the second level. Six hardwood courts for racquetball and handball are on the ground level. The swimming pool is 25-yards by 25-meters, offering eight competition lanes and two one-meter and one three-meter diving boards.

Other athletic facilities include Blackstock Stadium (football, track and field), McKeen Field (softball, field hockey and archery), Boswell Field (soccer), Walker Field (baseball) and a women's softball field built in 1997. In 1998 a major renovation of Blackstock Stadium included new locker rooms and sports medicine facilities. Three of the Blackstock tennis courts are lighted.

The Memorial Student Union Building is a three-story structure erected through memorial contributions honoring former students who died in World War II. The Union serves as a social center for the campus and the Greencastle community and provides students a place for recreational opportunities, cultural programs, social events and meetings. In 1998 the University completed a $7-million expansion and renovation of the Memorial Student Union Building. The basement houses the bookstore and student recreation space. The kitchen and food court are on the mezzanine level. The first floor provides office space for student government, fraternities, sororities and other organizations. The Robert C. McDermond Center for Management & Entrepreneurship is also located on the first floor. On the second floor are the DePauw Public Safety Office and Student Affairs Office as well as the Don R. Daseke Board Room. A new Information Technology Resource Center was established in the summer of 2005.

McKim Observatory is located about one-half mile from campus. Built in 1884 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the building houses two telescopes and other original equipment still in regular use.

Ubben Quadrangle residence halls include Lucy Rowland and Mason halls and Rector Village, a group of seven suite-style residence halls (Chabraja, Holmberg, Leis, Montgomery, Reese, Strasma and Warne) constructed near the former location of Rector Hall, which was built in 1917 and damaged beyond repair in a fire on April 7, 2002. The Center for Spiritual Life, which provides a sanctuary for Jewish and Muslim worship and a fellowship hall for meetings of student religious groups, is located in Reese Hall. Anderson Street Hall houses residence life offices. The South Quadrangle residence halls are Bishop Roberts, College Street, Hogate, Longden and Humbert halls. Hogate Hall houses the Wellness Center which consists of Student Health Services and Counseling Services.

Other student residence facilities are Seminary Street House, Senior Hall, Locust Street, Coan apartments and several townhouses. The two-story townhouses are named in honor of distinguished faculty members, alumni and administrators in the University’s history, including Katharine Sprague Alvord, William Martin Blanchard, Sutemi Chinda, Julia Alice Druley, Raymond H. French, John Jacob Oliver, George W. Gore Jr., Bettie Locke Hamilton, Paul B. Kissinger, David E. Lilienthal, Belle A. Mansfield, Tucker Essily Wilson and Truman G. Yuncker.

The Office of Admission, located adjacent to campus on Seminary Street, houses the admission staff and contains offices, interview rooms and resources for prospective students and their families.

The Percy Lavon Julian Science & Mathematics Center is named for the 1920 DePauw alumnus known as "America's greatest black chemist." It houses classrooms, laboratories and offices of the chemistry, computer science, geoscience, mathematics,and physics and astronomy departments. Also located in the center is the Prevo Science Library, containing books, periodicals, electronic resources and a personal computer laboratory; Information Services; a technology suite, featuring four computing laboratories and a Geographic Information System laboratory; and an 80-seat auditorium. Rededicated on November 1, 2003, following a $36-million renovation and expansion project, the Julian Center includes 17 technology-enhanced classrooms with high-speed networked computers, video, DVD and wired student stations; seven computer classrooms; computer-equipped rooms; and technology support for the campus. The east entrance opens into a three-story atrium that features abundant study spaces with wired and wireless access to the University network and Internet. The 361° Initiatives, which integrate technology into the liberal arts curriculum and prepare students for an increasingly technological world, are located in the Julian Center.

The Richard E. Peeler Art Center is a world-class facility that accommodates everything from studio art and art history to gallery displays, lectures and performances. Designed by the internationally recognized architect Carlos Jiménez, the center includes studios for painting and drawing classes; ceramics studio; four classrooms and seminar rooms with current technologies; computer labs for graphic design classes and digital video; photography facilities; a small auditorium; and 8,000 square feet of gallery and exhibition space.

The Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts, a $29 million project, provides new facilities for the School of Music and the Department of Communication and Theatre, including music faculty studios, practice rooms, ensemble rehearsal spaces, recording studios, music instructional technology facilities, library facilities, a dance studio, an acting studio, new classrooms for communication, theatre and music. The music and library spaces opened in Fall 2007 and the communication and theatre spaces in Fall 2008.

Roy O. West Library provides a variety of study spaces and group study rooms; contains a collection of more than 319,000 books, 1,500 periodical subscriptions and 12,000 audiovisual titles; provides campus-wide access to 475 electronic titles; distributes video and cable TV throughout campus, including faculty-assigned viewing and popular TV channels; holds the oldest U.S. government depository in the state of Indiana with thousands of rare, original documents; features Café Roy, a collaborative social and learning area; provides individual research assistance and course-based instruction; and houses a computer laboratory. Faculty Instructional Technology Support (FITS) also is located in Roy O. West Library. Archives and Special Collections houses unique historical records of the University, Indiana United Methodism and the Society for Professional Journalists as well as rare books and alumni publications.

There are three branch libraries. The Music Library, located on the lower level of the Performing Arts Center, contains a collection of approximately 41,000 volumes, including musical scores and parts, books on music, sound recordings, videotapes, CD-ROMs and online databases. It features in-house audio listening facilities, including two private studio/listening rooms. The library collection for most of the science areas is located in the Prevo Science Library, on the first and lower levels of the Percy Lavon Julian Science & Mathematics Center. It provides access to online indexes and abstracts and a variety of study areas. The Visual Resources Center, on the second floor of the Richard E. Peeler Art Center, includes 75,000 art and architecture slides, as well as an image database.

The Studebaker Administration Building provides offices for the University president, vice president for development and alumni relations, vice president for finance and administration, as well as the registrar, student loan, accounting, cash receipts and human resources offices.

The Women's Center, opened in September 2004 on Hanna Street, serves as a resource center for students, faculty, staff, and the Greencastle community interested in and acting on behalf of women's issues at DePauw.