Before the School of Liberal Arts was founded and before the concept of IUPUI even existed, there were historians working at what would later become the IUPUI campus In the late 1940s, two historians–one Americanist, Hebert Walker and one Europeanist, Mary Elisabeth Seldon–were offering courses to students in Indianapolis.
By 1964, the Indianapolis Downtown Campus boasted 27 resident faculty—one full professor (in Chemistry), 4 associate professors, 15 assistant professors, and 6 resident lecturers. Included were three assistant professors of history: Mary Seldon, first appointed in 1949; Bernard Friedman, appointed in 1961; and Jack J. Detzler, appointed in the late 1950s.
As the campus grew in the 1960s, so too did the department. Miriam Z. Langsam arrived in 1964; John Stevens in 1966; and Berthold P. Riesterer in 1967.
The six department members in 1967 already had visions of both a new campus and the establishment of a major in history. It was then that, as Assistant Chairman, Bernard Friedman stated, “the resident faculty in History of the Indianapolis Downtown Campus is now sufficiently large and diversified to offer a major in History.”
IUPUI History Department Celebrating the Creation of a New Masters Degree in 1984 (l. to r.: Bernard Friedman, John Stevens, Sabine Jessner, Monroe Little, Peter Sehlinger, Miriam Langsam, Ralph Gray, Justin Libby, Ken Cutler).