Rev. Fr. Boniface Hardin, O.S.B. and Sister Jane Schilling founded Martin University in 1977. Martin University’s original mission to serve low-income, minority, and adult learners has not changed, although students from all backgrounds have always been welcomed. While the majority of our students are over the age of 25, we are continually enrolling a growing number of younger students.
In 1977, Martin University was created, in the midst of the inner city barriers to academic success, to offer opportunities for ordinary and disenfranchised persons to change their destinies through education. The University is recognized as an institution that offers access and opportunities to persons who have been discounted, discouraged, and disregarded in the educational attainment process. Martin University is a distinctive institution that is future-oriented, interconnected, and learning-centered. The University is a non-denominational, private, liberal arts institution with over 1,500 alumni.
Martin University serves students, with experienced faculty and staff employed to meet student needs. It offers 13 undergraduate degrees and 2 graduate degree programs. A majority of its students are African American, female, and over the age of 25. Approximately 90% of the students attending Martin University receive financial aid. The University plays a unique role in the Indianapolis community. Many graduates have gone on to become distinguish leaders. Some outstanding graduates include a Deputy Mayor for the City of Indianapolis, Administrator for the Pike Township Fire Department, Marion County Sheriff, Marion County Chaplain, McDonald's Franchise Owner, Pastor of a 16,000 member church, clergymen, social workers, daycare workers and owners, police officers, and published authors.
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The original campus was located at 35th Street and College Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana. It moved to its current location on North Sherman Drive in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood, in 1987. Housed initially in buildings once occupied by St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church and Elementary School, the campus grew to include other structures in the immediate area. In 2000, the University began construction of its first new building-the $10 million Educational Center. It, and the beautiful Peace Garden that connects the Center to the former St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church and the Dr. Andrew J. Brown Building, opened in the summer of 2001.