University Timeline: Illinois Wesleyan and the World

See a timeline of Firsts in IWU History

University Event Year World Event
Illinois Wesleyan University founded 1850  
Central Portion of campus acquired 1854 Republican Party formed
Old North Hall built 1856  
  1859 Darwin presents theory of evolution
  1860 Abraham Lincoln elected 16th President
  1861 Civil War begins
  1863 Emancipation Proclamation issued
  1865 Civil War ends; Lincoln assassinated
Establishment of first fraternity at IWU, Phi Gamma Delta 1866  
John Wesley Powell explores Colorado;
Black students admitted
1867 Alaskan Purchase
Female students admitted 1870  
Old Main built 1870  
  1871 Chicago fire
School of Law established;
Female Professor hired;
Establishment of first sorority at IWU, Kappa Kappa Gamma
  1876 Custer's last stand
  1876 First commercial telephone exchange
College of Music established 1879 First "five-and-dime" store opens
Wesleyana produced 1886 Haymarket riot
Football team organizes 1887 Ireland's Bloody Sunday
International Students admitted 1889  
College of Oratory opened 1893  
The Argus published 1894  
Scholarships awarded 1895  
Summer school programs 1896  
  1898 Spanish-American War
College of Liberal Arts organized;
Domestic Science program begun
1906 San Francisco earthquake
Cheer song written and arranged 1909 Peary reaches North Pole
  1914 World War I
Student Council organized 1915  
North Central Association accreditation 1916  
  1919 World War I
  1920 19th Amendment gives women right to vote
Construction of Memorial Gymnasium 1921  
School of Nursing organized 1924 First woman governor elected
  1927 Lindbergh flies the Atlantic
Hedding College adopted 1928  
  1929 Stock market crashes
Presser Hall completed 1930  
Wesleyan accepts produces as tuition during Great Depression 1933  
  1937 Amelia Earhart's flight
  1939 World War II begins
  1941 Pearl Harbor attacked
Hedding Hall (Old Main) fire 1943  
  1944 G.I. Bill
  1945 World War II ends
School of Art established 1946 First U.N. general assembly
School of Drama established 1947  
  1955 Rosa Parks sparks Montgomery Bus Boycott
Collegiate School of Nursing organized 1959 Vietnam War begins
  1963 John F. Kennedy assassinated
January "Short Term" introduced 1965  
Old North razed for Sheean Library 1966 Medicare instituted
Library completed;
Robert S. Eckley becomes 15th president
1968 Apollo 8 lunar flight
Honorary degrees to Apollo 8 crew 1969 Apollo 11 lands on moon
IWU Student Senate asks administration to lower flag; President Eckley approves 1970 Kent State University Shooting
Alice Millar Center for Fine Arts;
campus radio station WESN 88.1
1972 Richard Nixon visits China
  1973 Vietnam peace pacts signed
  1974 Nixon resigns
  1980 Ronald Reagan elected 40th President
  1983 First woman in space
Evelyn Chapel dedicated 1984  
Fort Natatorium dedicated 1988 George H. W. Bush elected 41st President
IWU rated #1 in Midwest by U.S. News:
Minor Myers, jr. becomes 17th president
1989 Fall of Berlin Wall
Renovation of Buck Memorial Library 1990  
  1991 Gulf War in Iraq and Kuwait
GLBT rights group established;
Illinois Wesleyan University Magazine
1992 Bill Clinton elected 42nd President
Optional May Term replaces January Short Term 1993 World Wide Web released
Faculty and students send first e-mails;
Shirk Center dedicated
1994 GOP takes both houses of Congress
Center for Natural science dedicated,
later featured as model building by the National Science Foundation
1995 Itzhak Rabin, Israeli prime minister, assassinated
IWU Web site launched 1996 Clinton elected to 2nd term
Sherff Hall renovated into Center for Liberal Arts;
new residence hall opens, eventually called Harriett Fuller Rust House
1997 Dianna, Princess of Wales, dies in a car crash
Faculty Colloquium Program launched 1998 Al-Qaeda bombs U.S. embassies in South Africa
Jack Horenberger Field dedicated;
Ground broken for The Ames Library
1999 World population reaches 6 billion
IWU Sesquicentennial celebrated at Homecoming 2000 George W. Bush elected 43rd President
  2001 World Trade Center attacks
The Ames Library opens;
Hansen Student Center opens in what was once Memorial Gymnasium
  2003 U.S. invades Iraq
Richard F. Wilson becomes 18th president 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
Organic food introduced to campus dining services 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans.
Web site begins webcasting events;
IWU has first snow day in 40 years
  2007 Virginia Tech and N.I.U. campus shootings
Minor Myers, jr. Welcome Center dedicated,
Bloomington's first LEED-certified building
2008 Barack Obama elected 44th President