RUTH SHIREY: Leonard Hall has varied history at IUP
June 20, 2013 10:50 AM

Imagine my surprise to learn that the original Leonard Hall at IUP was the science building and that the later Leonard Hall housed the English Department! (Sunday, June 16, edition, photo caption)

I was an undergraduate geography education major from 1961 to 1965 and on the faculty from 1970 to 2007. During that time, I learned a great deal about Jane Leonard. Much of my time was spent in Leonard Hall.

Jane Leonard was one of the original faculty members at Indiana Normal School. She taught geography, history and rhetoric and became the faculty member most associated with the institution. She served the normal school for many decades. Originally, all subjects were taught in John Sutton Hall.

When the original Leonard Hall was built, it was named for her because of her important role in the normal school and the subjects she taught were housed in it. Leonard Hall housed geography, history, English and education departments. Science would have been a small, although important, part of the function of the building.

When I was a student in geography education a decade after the later Leonard Hall was built, it housed English for sure.

It also housed elementary education and geography on the second floor, and on the ground floor, chemistry and physics. Biology and mathematics had moved to Walsh Hall.

In 1966, chemistry and physics, as well as biology, moved to the new Weyandt Hall. Geography moved to Leonard Hall ground floor in 1966.

The Geography and Regional Planning Department has been highly successful preparing students for careers in both geography and regional planning. Graduates of the department are found all over Pennsylvania and the U.S. where they work in schools and universities, corporations and planning and security organizations in and out of government.

Creating spatial data bases for a variety of purposes, including corporate and municipal analyses and decision-making, is an important career opportunity area for our undergraduates and graduate students.

Careers are also available to bachelor’s and master’s students who want to protect the country or work to make good decisions for corporations and communities.

Geography and regional planning are both good opportunities for prospective students and worth consideration as majors at IUP, one of the well-regarded departments in the U.S. Although currently housed in Leonard Hall, the department will be moving to the new building planned for the space beside the university library in a couple years.

Ruth Shirey


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