Sunday, October 28, 2012

Game Day:
On campus at Taylor University

Half of the enjoyment of touring Indiana small colleges is finding interesting compositions on the campuses. In football season, a lot of energy can be found among the tailgaters, a practice that differs from campus to campus.

Hanover College, for example, sets aside an expanse of space in a meadow not far from the stadium, where tailgaters set up, cook and socialize a few hours before game time. The activity is spread out -- and more sparse -- at Marian University. And at Wabash College and DePauw University, the tradition is akin to what most of us are accustomed to -- parking lots littered with portable grills, tents, tables with spreads, etc.

Of the small colleges in Indiana that I have visited so far, tailgating was heaviest and most widespread at DePauw, but I was there on what undoubtedly is the Tigers' most important game each year -- the battle against Wabash in the Monon Bell Classic. Because of the game's steep tradition, a portion of DePauw's tailgating area is dedicated to the visiting school -- much smaller than that used by DePauw students and fans, but still ... dedicating tailgate space for an opponent is something I'd not seen anywhere else.

At Taylor University, which I visited Oct. 20, there is yet another approach. Nearly half a parking lot south of the stadium is roped off for an outdoor cookout. Volunteers cook traditional sandwich fare on a couple of large gas grills, and cooked meats are taken to a large tent and added to a buffet-like spread. Diners queue up to the spread east of the tent after paying a fee for the meal. They proceed through the buffet line and get a beverage from several large tubs with ice before they find a place to sit in the remaining roped off area, where there are several dozen tables set up for sit-down eating.

Tailgating was just one aspect of the Taylor campus I photographed on Oct. 20. I spent almost an hour taking a self-guided tour of the grounds, and like my experience at the other schools, I did not have enough time to take in everything I wanted to before game time. In fact, I never made it to the one place I had hoped to reach -- the Memorial Prayer Chapel, built in 2008 to commemorate the four Taylor University students and one staff member killed in a truck-van accident on I-69 north of Upland. Maybe another time.

I did, however, make it to the student center, a very modernish, one-story, spheric structure -- also known as the dome -- distinguished by its voluminous glass-panel facade. I stopped there to visit  the bookstore, keeping a personal tradition: buying a school hoodie as a souvenir of my visits to the schools. As it turned out, the weather turned unusually cold as I was walking around before the game, so I wore the new hoodie over my other clothing the rest of the afternoon.

Also notable on the campus are the Zondervan library (it's beautiful) and, just north of it, the distinctive twin-spire Rice Bell Tower, and, north across the mall from them, the ornate fountain and statues outside Rupp Communications Arts Center, a photo of which leads off today's post (with a tighter, closeup of one of the fountain statues among the other images below).

A full gallery of my photographs of the Taylor University campus on game day can be found at my SmugMug site.

  Above: Inside Zondervan Library. 

Outside the library (above and in the next two images below), different perspectives of the Rice Bell Tower. 

Above: The Euler Science Complex includes two wind turbines, a heliostat, green roofing, solar paneling and geothermal heating and cooling. 

A mulch-covered path crosses the center mall in front of the Rupp Communications Arts Center.

Above: Color foliage highlights a landscaped plaza behind the Rupp building. The plaza looks north toward the south end of Student Center (background). A view of the student's north and east ends appears in the two pictures immediately below. 

Above: A closeup of one of the statues in the fountain outside Rupp Communications Art Center. 

Above: Ayres Alumni Memorial Hall.

Above: The front facade of Helena Memorial Hall, which houses the admissions office and offices of the university president and provost.

Above: Sickler Hall, the oldest of three remaining original buildings on campus. It houses the William Taylor Foundation, among other things.

Above: Swallow Robin Hall, the oldest residence hall and third oldest building on campus.

Above and next two below: The roped off tailgating dining area outside the football stadium and just east of Odle Arena.

Above and below: The grillmeisters at work.

Above: Not all the "tailgating" was confined to the roped-off area. There were a few rogue grillers. 

Above: Taylor's school colors displayed in balloons catch the eye of the younger set. 

Above: Approaching entry into the football stadium.

Above and below: Notable landscaping just inside the gates to the stadium on the visitors' side of the field.


  1. I currently go to Taylor and found this post. It made me so happy to see pictures of the place I love so dearly. Beautiful pictures! Thank you for taking them and sharing them!
    Especially Sickler Hall, where the Old Prayer Chapel is inside. The Old Prayer Chapel is my second favorite place on campus, the first being the Taylor Lake. Those two places on campus are precious to my heart, and just seeing a picture of Sickler Hall made me smile. Thank you!

  2. Christina, hello. For some reason, I am not notified when comments are dropped onto my blog, so I apologize for not seeing this and/or acknowledging/responding sooner. Thank you so much for visiting ... and for your kind words. I've enjoyed all my visits to Indiana small colleges to date, and I remember each one vividly. Taylor was no exception. In fact, I returned to the campus the following December to photograph the Silent Night game, and I hope you discovered my multiple blog posts and photo gallery (at from that visit as well. It was quite the spectacle -- like none I've ever experienced. And I was struck by the campus design and beauty in my autumn visit, as I hope my images convey. My regret is that I didn't get to the lake in time to take images there before the game began. Taylor University staff, faculty and students have much to be proud and thankful for.

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