BY MOYA ANDREWS • PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL ORR
“I hope that our alumni will always insist upon the retention of our precious islands of green and serenity—our most important physical asset, transcending even classrooms, libraries, and laboratories in their ability to inspire students to dream long dreams of future usefulness and achievement—dreams that are an important and essential part of the undergraduate college experience.”
—Herman B Wells in an address to IU alumni in 1963
Wells and the IU administrators who have been stewards of the campus since his time have espoused the philosophy that the landscape is not just an adornment but an essential ingredient of the university’s mission. Terry Clapacs, vice president and chief administrative officer who oversees the physical aspects of all eight campuses, has preserved, built upon, and enlarged Wells’ vision. While the Bloomington campus has excellent architecture, it is the landscape design, he believes, that assists the human eye to tie the disparate parts together and harmonize the whole scene. The massive and deep-rooted trees, and the solidity of the hardscape (e.g. paths, walls, and other structures where the same materials and styles are repeated) unify the varied campus buildings and spaces and help create feelings of stability and permanence that are congruent with the traditions of the university.