Indiana University was founded in 1820. The largest of its eight campuses is located in Bloomington, a city of 65,000 inhabitants approximately 50 miles south of the state capital in Indianapolis. The total student enrollment on the Bloomington campus in August 2010 was 42,464; of this number, 10,097 were students in the graduate and professional schools.
- IU was the first Big Ten university to grant degrees, graduating the first class in 1830.
- The campus features a major research library with more than 6 million volumes and 13 million other print and media items; 15 departmental libraries; 13 residence hall library centers; and the renowned Lilly Library collection of rare books and manuscripts.
- IU was recently named "College Of The Year Among Research Universities" by Time magazine.
- The Musical Arts Center, the University's opera house, is second in facilities only to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
- Bloomington was chosen as one of the top 10 college towns in America for its "rich mixture of atmospherics and academia" by Edward B. Fiske, former education editor of the New York Times. Also, Rand McNally has selected Bloomington as one of the eight most desirable places to live in the nation, based on economy, personal safety, climate, housing, services, and leisure activities.
- The Bloomington campus was cited as one of the five most beautiful campuses in the United States by Thomas A. Gaines in his book, The Campus as a Work of Art.
- IUB named Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, January 2009.
- Bicycling magazine ranks the Bloomington area as the seventh-best place in the country for cycling. Adventure magazine of the National Geographic Society lists bicycling in Monroe and Lawrence counties among the 100 best adventures.
- Bloomington was named an All-America City in 1958 in recognition of its economic and community progress, The city received the award for a second time in 1982 for the involvement of its citizens in the arts, volunteer action, and community health.