Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Valley, The

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Institution Name: Anderson University
Original/Historic Place Name: Valley, The
Location on Campus: runs centrally through the campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1917natural landscape: identified and preserved as open space since the founding of the University
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1917-present (2006)outdoor space
1917-present (2006)other (pedestrian walkway through campus)

The Valley serves as the historic and current central pedestrian walkway for the 3,000 students and faculty that populate Anderson University. Pathways from eight academic buildings, including the University Library, converge to form the central Valley path.

Situated within the City of Anderson, Indiana, this 86-year-old private liberal arts University contains many beautiful Georgian style buildings. While the majority of campus buildings have been constructed in the past 50 years, The Valley has remained the campus's one enduring and recognizable feature. Running from the west edge of campus to the eastern campus border, The Valley is surrounded on both sides by rolling landscaped lawns punctuated by giant oak, walnut, maple, and evergreen trees, many of which are more than 100 years old. The primary blacktopped footpath meanders through this rolling terrain, where here and there other paths from the campus's Georgian style buildings merge. The Valley is 600 yards in length and in places more than 150 yards in width. Historically, The Valley has been used as a place for contemplative study as well as special events. Each fall at Homecoming, the various paths through the area are set aglow with more than 2,500 lanterns. Residents and visitors come from miles away to view this unique and beautiful display. There are several places in The Valley that serve as a natural amphitheatre for concerts and dedicatory events, and memorial trees are planted throughout this area to honor significant individuals in the life of the University.

Anderson University and her 25,000 alumni consider this campus Valley a special treasure unique to the history of the school.


Callen, Barry L. Guide of Soul and Mind: A History of Anderson University. Anderson, IN: Warner Press, 1992.


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Last update: November 2006