Vincennes University: President Harrison Would Be Proud

One of the oldest universities in the entire United States, Vincennes University ranks ninth on the list of the 25 largest Indiana colleges and universities. It is smaller than the University of Southern Indiana and slightly larger than Butler University in Indianapolis. The Indiana school continues to provide excellent education, a dedicated staff, and tons of resources right in the heart of historic Vincennes, Indiana.

Promotional video for the Vincennes University Aviation Flight Program in Vincennes, Indiana


Campuses and Culture

In addition to Vincennes University‘s main residential campus, the school hosts a regional campus in Jasper, Indiana and several other non-university programs. Vincennes University hosts the Aviation Technology Center in Indianapolis, which trains students for future careers with the Indianapolis International Airport as technicians and mechanics; a program in American Sign Language at the Indiana School for the Deaf; and Ben Davis University High School, a partnership with Ben Davis High School that allows Indianapolis high school students to earn their associate degrees while still in school.

Promotional video for Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana


Vincennes University’s main campus is one of the oldest campuses in the country. It has been standing in the same spot for over two hundred years, since 1801. It’s one of only two universities in the country that was founded by a President of the United States: William Henry Harrison. The only other president-founded university is the University of Virginia, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson. Despite its age, Vincennes features over two dozen modern buildings fronted by beautiful red brick. The campus has all the state of the art accommodations you’d expect from a modern university, including high speed internet connections, web conferencing, and audio systems in many classrooms.

Video slideshow of students at the TV Broadcasting program at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana

Not only is the university at Vincennes historic, the town itself is one of the oldest towns in Indiana. Vincennes is located a hundred miles southwest of Indianapolis, in between Evansville (home of the University of Southern Indiana) and Terre Haute (home of Indiana State University). There are many historical attractions in the town of Vincennes; some of them rivaling even the best historical Indianapolis attractions. Visitors to the city and the university can visit the former home of William Henry Harrison, United States President and founder of Vincennes University. Vincennes is also home to the Old French House, the former home of a fur trader and Native American interpreter that has been standing since 1806. Visitors to the town can also experience the oldest government building in the Midwest, where the town’s legislature frequently met.

Video slideshow of attractions in Vincennes, Indiana, home of Vincennes University

There are also several museums in Vincennes, many of them covering town history in a way that Indianapolis museums don’t. There’s an ancient cathedral and adjacent museum and library, the Indiana Military Museum, which has as much war memorabilia as the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, the USS Vincennes Monument, the McGrady Brockman House, and the Lincoln Memorial Bridge. There’s even a national park, the George Rogers Clark National Historic Park. All of these great attractions are within a short distance of Vincennes University.


Vincennes University
may have tons of historical value, but it is also a good center for higher learning. The school offers over 200 different majors, most of which lead to associate degrees, certificates, and transfer programs. Unlike larger Indiana and Indianapolis schools like Ball State University or Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI), most programs at Vincennes University are not designed to lead to baccalaureate degrees, though there are a few select majors that provide a bachelor’s to students.

Video of commencement at Vincennes University in 2007

Academics at Vincennes are divided into six colleges: Business and Public Service, Health Sciences and Human Performance, Humanities, Science and Math, Social Science and Performing Arts, and Technology. Each division has its own classes, facilities, and schedule, though many programs offer classes in more than one division. With more than two hundred majors to decide between, like agribusiness, business administrative technology, emergency medical services, audio engineering, and culinary arts, each student should be able to find something to fit his or her needs.
Vincennes students can make full use of all Vincennes facilities to assist their education, including the Shake Library and the Red Skelton Perfoming Arts Center. The Shake Library is the central library on Vincennes University’s main campus, and it houses over 10,000 volumes of material. It also has several computer labs and access to thousands of online journals and microfilm. Vincennes University art students have the benefit of the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center, a relatively new facility that showcases many fantastic entertainment pieces. Students can see shows originating in all parts of the nation, including some great examples of Indianapolis performing arts.

Video of comedian Jeff Dye performing at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana

In addition to the wealth of degrees and certificates offered on the main Vincennes campus, Vincennes University also has many different courses that students can participate in online through Vincennes University’s Distance Learning program. While not as comprehensive or widespread as Ivy Tech Community College‘s online education program, the Vincennes version offers a few dozen degrees and certificates that can be earned entirely online, including behavioral sciences, accounting, funeral service education, law enforcement studies, and social work. Students can also opt to take one or more courses online to supplement the personal education they’ll receive on the main campus. It’s a very flexible program meant to cater to students with all kinds of needs, including those who are holding down full time jobs or families and those who just need to add a course or two but can’t afford to get to campus.


While Vincennes University isn’t part of the NCAA because it’s too small (there are just over 4,000 students enrolled in the university), the Vincennes athletic program has won several championships in the NJCAA, the National Junior College Athletic Association. The Vincennes University Blazers are a force to be reckoned with, no matter where they’re playing or what sport is involved.

Video highlights of a volleyball match between Columbus State and Vincennes University


Vincennes University fields nine different sports teams: men’s and women’s basketball, golf, track and field, baseball, cross country, tennis, and women’s volleyball. Competing against familiar names in the NJCAA like the University of Evansville and Wabash College, the Trailblazers are always a joy to watch. The Vincennes University women’s basketball team, the Lady Trailblazers, defeated DePauw University and qualified for the NJCAA Tournament (the NJCAA equivalent of the NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournament) in the 2007-2008 season after finishing with a 19-12 record.

Floor cam video of a Vincennes University men’s basketball game

Surprisingly enough, it’s in the sport of bowling that Vincennes University has excelled the most. Bowling is vastly underappreciated, but in the 2008-2009 season Vincennes was proud to take home the NJCAA Championship. During the course of the season, the Trailblazers rolled at the Brickyard Classic in Indianapolis (named after the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), the Boilermaker Classic in Lafayette, the Blue & Gold Classic in South Bend (rolling against University of Notre Dame players), and the Hoosier Classic, also in Indianapolis.

William Henry Harrison Would Be Proud

Now embarking on their third century of excellence in post-secondary education, Vincennes University is primed to enter the modern era. The school has fulfilled the lofty goals set for it at its founding in 1801, and it deserves a spot on the list of influential Indiana colleges alongside anything in the Indianapolis education system. The university’s wide range of baccalaureate degrees, associate degrees, and certificate programs provide a meaningful education to students of any pedigree and schedule. Vincennes offers specialized programs at sites around the state, all dedicated to making Indiana a more refined, smarter place. Vincennes University has been excelling for the past two hundred years, and there’s no reason to think they won’t continue that trend.

For more information on Vincennes University, including assessment details, class schedules, and upcoming events, please visit the university’s homepage.

Vincennes University – Main Campus
1002 N First St
Vincennes, IN 47591

Vincennes University – Jasper Campus
850 College Ave
Jasper, IN 47546
Fax: 812.481.5960

Indiana School for the Deaf
1200 E 42nd St
Indianapolis, IN 46205

Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center
2175 S Hoffman St
Indianapolis, IN 46241

Ben Davis University High School
1155 S High School Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46241

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