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Last modified: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fast facts about Indiana University for media covering NCAA tourney games in Portland

March 14, 2012

Editors: In advance of Thursday's game between Indiana University and New Mexico State University in the first round of the men's NCAA basketball tournament, we thought you might be interested in some non-sports facts about the Aggies' opponent. If you have any questions or need to reach anyone at Indiana University, contact Mark Land at 812-856-1172 or

IU Bloomington's 1,937-acre campus in the rolling hills of southern Indiana is considered one of the five most beautiful campuses in the nation, as cited in Thomas Gaines' book, "The Campus as a Work of Art."

The IU Bloomington campus has 19 libraries, including the Herman B Wells Main Library, named for the university's most beloved former president. The libraries house several of the nation's top research collections and specialized libraries, such as the Archives of Traditional Music, and the Archives of African American Music and Culture.

The university's rare-books collection, the Lilly Library, has holdings totaling about 400,000 books, 100,000 pieces of sheet music and many culturally important items such the Gutenberg Bible and annotated production scripts for "Laugh In," "Star Trek," "Mission Impossible" and other television shows.

National rankings are not new for the IU basketball team or for many of IU's academic programs. Just this week, U.S. News and World Report ranked its School of Public and Environmental Affairs as the No. 2 graduate program overall in the country, ahead of Harvard, Princeton and other major universities. Its Kelley School of Business, Jacobs School of Music, Maurer School of Law and schools in its College of Arts and Sciences also are renowned and have been recognized by Bloomberg Business Week, the Financial Times, U.S. News and other national publications.

In 2011, a record number of 10 IU Bloomington faculty members became Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society. The 10 new Fellows represent the largest group selected from IU since 2001, when five Fellows were named, and brings the total number of AAAS Fellows at IU to 66.

It's a long way from Bloomington, Ind., to Portland, Ore., but many IU alumni have distinguished themselves as Oregonians. There are about 4,100 IU alumni in the state of Oregon, including 2,100 in the greater Portland area, where IU has an active alumni chapter.

Well-known IU Bloomington alumni include Ryan Murphy, the creator of the popular television programs "Glee" and "Nip/Tuck"; Michael Higgins, who last year became Ireland's ninth president; Mark Cuban, a successful business magnate and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks; and Will Shortz, crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times.

They also include Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia; Hoagy Carmichael, composer of such American pop standards as "Star Dust" and "Georgia on My Mind"; journalists Tavis Smiley, Anthony DeCurtis, Sherri Sylvester and Jane Pauley; actors Kevin Kline and Sarah Clarke; and Grammy winners Booker T. Jones and Joshua Bell.

Later this summer, Yvette Marie Alex-Assensoh, a political scientist and attorney who has served on the IU faculty for the past 18 years and as dean for women's affairs since 2008, will become vice president for equity and inclusion at the University of Oregon.