A perfect fit for the School of Art, Architecture + Design's new J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program

Indiana University's School of Art, Architecture + Design has a new home and new name for its Master of Architecture degree program.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie led an event to announce the school's exciting new developments in Columbus, Indiana where the J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program will be housed in one of the city's historic buildings.

The former Republic Newspaper building, designed by Myron Goldsmith, known for its modernist architecture and nationally recognized as a historic landmark since 2012, was purchased by the IU Foundation and will be occupied by the school in August with students taking their first graduate courses in architecture in the fall. 

"Indiana University had also long recognized and appreciated the richness and greatness of the architectural heritage of Columbus and has seen it as an enormous opportunity to build an academic program based on it," McRobbie said at the event.

From the top: The Indiana University School of Art, Architecture + Design's new architecture program will be located in the former Republic Newspaper building, an historic building in Columbus. It was standing room only when IU Presdient McRobbie made the announcement.   Peg Faimon, dean of the school, looks at plans for the building. Photos by Chris Meyer, IU Communications

The location for the program will also increase awareness and visibility of IU in the region, encouraging students to take advantage of the unique opportunity to learn about architecture in a city that boasts structures designed by renowned architects like Goldsmith, Eero and Eliel Saarinen, I.M. Pei, and Harry Weese.

"Students will have the unrivalled opportunity to study and visit the exemplary buildings, landscapes, design, and art of one of the nation’s great cities for modern architecture—a city ranked the sixth most architecturally significant city in America, only behind Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Washington D.C." he said.

Like the new building for the program, its name has a link to Columbus' history as a architecturally rich city. J. Irwin Miller, a Columbus native and former Cummins Chairman and CEO, had a vision that having great architecture would have an uplifting influence on the city's citizens.

"It was the Cummins Foundation that paid the architectural fees for world-class architects for so many of the great buildings of Columbus, having given around $25 million for this purpose since 1954," McRobbie said. "The magnificent architecture here reflects the tremendous impact that deep generosity and prescience can have on a city."

From the left: IU President and First Lady McRobbie announce that the Master of Architecture program will be named in honor or J. Irwin Miller and that they have pledged half a million dollars to endow a professorship in modern architecture in the School of Art, Architecture + Design. Renovation plans for the former Republic Newspaper building. Columbus Mayor Jim Leinhoop speaks about the collaboration between Indiana University and the city. Photos by Chris Meyer, IU Communications

The acquisition of the building also strengthens IU's longstanding ties with Columbus. The Columbus Community Education Coalition has agreed to raise funds for renovation of the building and outfitting it for the new program.

"We greatly look forward to continuing to work together in a true spirit of collaboration with the people of Columbus as IU’s Architecture Program launches in this building and becomes an important part of the rich, cultural fabric of this city," McRobbie said.

Read the speech