Collins Living-Learning Center was established in 1972, as one of the first of its kind in the United States. Before Collins, our Quad was home to the Men’s Residence Center, famous for being home to victorious teams in the Little 500 as well as Olympic swimmers. Collins pioneered educational programming, introducing student-taught workshops (Q199 classes), as well as the Board of Educational Programming, in which students interview potential seminar instructors and collaborate with faculty to assemble the curriculum. Collins students have been publishing an annual arts and literary magazine for over forty years. Many other traditions mark the year at Collins, creating a lifetime of memories as you add to our history.
The Collins gnomes
Three stained glass windows in the lobby of Edmondson Hall depict gnomes involved in different activities. These gnomes show up on our t-shirts, in our publications, and even in our slogans:
- “Home is where the gnome is”
- “We put the ‘know’ in gnome!”
- “There’s no place like gnome”
Collins history timeline
Washington Hall completed (first IU men’s dormitory), renamed South Hall in 1925 and Smith Hall in 1959.
West Hall (Edmondson from 1959) and North Hall (Cravens from 1959) completed, creating the Men's Residence Center (MRC).
Ralph L. Collins serves as headmaster at MRC.
Construction of Hillcrest Apartments is completed on Fess between 10th and Cottage Grove.
MRC bike teams win the first three consecutive Little 500s: South Hall Buccaneers in 1951; North Hall Friars in 1952 and 1953 (never since repeated as of writing).
Woodlawn Dormitory Complex, including Brown and Greene Halls, built between Cottage Grove and 11th, Woodlawn and Forrest.
Mark Spitz, 7-time Olympic gold medal winner (in 1972 games), lives in Cravens and swims for IU.
The MRC officially goes co-ed.
The “Save the MRC” student campaign prevents the halls from becoming office and classroom buildings and creates the Living-Learning Center. First known as the MRC-LLC, it is one of the first institutions of its kind in the U.S.
The Board of Educational Programming (BoEP) was fundamental to the creation of the LLC in 1972.
Creation of student taught Q 199: Residential Learning Workshop
Creation of the Dancing Star arts and literary magazine
Professor Ernest Bernhardt Kabisch (for whom the coffeehouse is later named) serves as Collins director.
The first Dickens Dinner takes place.
LLC student activity fee starts at $10 a semester.
The first MRC-LLC yearbook is created.
Brown and Greene Halls (“the Hill”) become part of MRC/Collins.
The first Renaissance Fair which would later become CollinsFest.
The MRC-LLC is renamed the Ralph L. Collins Living-Learning Center.
The first Viennese Ball takes place.
Students petition and protest the Psychology department's proposal to take over Brown and Greene.
Creation of the student-run Cheshire Cafe.
Carl Ziegler serves as Collins director.
1998 (or earlier)
Creation of the Collins Clubhouse in a nearby residential house owned by IU.
Collins Arts Council is created.
Collins celebrates the 25th anniversary of being an LLC, with a large alumni reunion in the summer.
Collins acquires all but the north wing of Hillcrest apartments
Clubhouse moves to Brown Hall.
Ellen Dwyer serves as Collins director.
Creation of The Pipe & The Barrow, scholarly magazine.
Carl Ipsen serves as Collins director.
Summer reunion to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the LLC.
Collins Sustainable Food Committee is created and Smith kitchen (“Smitchen”) is renovated.
Brown and Greene torn down to make way for Luddy Hall. The Clubhouse moves to Hillcrest.
Padraic Kenney becomes director.