Founded in 1964, Purdue University Fort Wayne is located in Indiana's second-largest city and offers a traditional campus experience within a thriving metropolitan setting. Comprising almost 700 beautiful acres on the banks of the St. Joseph River, the university conveys a significant presence in the region and boasts a modern campus that includes well-equipped classrooms, impressive research labs, first-rate student apartments, popular restaurants and retail, and inviting gathering spaces. The campus serves as the epicenter of culture and entertainment for the region and presents hundreds of lectures, musical performances, theatrical productions, art exhibitions, and sporting events annually. With more than 8,100 degree-seeking students and 330 full-time faculty members, Purdue Fort Wayne offers small classes and individualized attention with all the attributes of a major research university.
After many years of offering courses at separate locations in Fort Wayne, Indiana University and Purdue University opened the combined campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in 1964.
The 1970s were a time of rapid growth, accompanied by the formal merger of the campus administration in 1975. A regional campus of both Indiana University and Purdue University, the campus is managed by Purdue University under the terms of a management agreement that is renewed every five years. In the 1980s, an academic structure was created to emphasize relationships among departments rather than relationships of departments to Indiana or Purdue mission assignments.
Major facilities opened during the early 1990s and included the Visual Arts Building, Williams Theatre, and the Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science Building. A new campus facilities master plan was completed in 1995, and the university’s first strategic plan was completed that same year. The Science Building opened in 1998.
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne proactively grew its facilities to handle the swelling ranks of students, which totaled more than 10,500 by 2000. The Crescent Avenue Bridge, dedicated in fall 2003, connected the main campus to the new Waterfield Campus across Crescent Avenue. Student Housing on the Waterfield Campus opened in fall 2004, giving students their first opportunity to both live and learn at the University. Student Housing expanded when two more buildings opened in fall 2007.
The John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center opened in fall 2007. The Holiday Inn at IPFW and the Coliseum joined the campus family in 2008.
The University’s newest additions include the Ron Venderly Family Bridge (2009) and the Medical Education Building (2009). Phase 3 of Student Housing, which added four more buildings with new floor plans tailored to student requests plus a new clubhouse building, opened in fall 2010.
The Keith Busse Steel Dynamics Alumni Center the Student Services Complex both opened in 2011.
On July 1, 2018, the campus officially split into two campuses, Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Fort Wayne. IU Fort Wayne took charge of the health sciences, while everything else became part of Purdue University Fort Wayne.
On August 13, 2018, history was made with the dedication of the Purdue University Sweetwater Music Center, located on the Sweetwater Sound campus in Fort Wayne.