10 September 2015

IUPUI stands for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The school is a joint venture between IU and Purdue that dates back to 1969, though the IU component set up shop in 1916. It sits just west of downtown Indianapolis.

IUPUI Campus Center.
Public Domain Image via Wikimedia Commons.

I first visited the campus in the early 1990s. In those days, it had a cobbled-together look. The larger, older buildings were mostly associated with the School of Medicine and ancillary institutions. There were also outsized sports facilities left over from the 1987 Pan American Games, when Indianapolis served as the host city. In between were a few low-slung brutalist structures. Most students showed up after work and left by nine or ten o'clock.

The intervening decades have seen explosive growth and development of the campus. It now has more than thirty thousand students, on-campus housing, status as a High Research Activity University, and a phalanx of sports teams, some of which occasionally appear in their respective NCAA tournaments. Notable alumni of IUPUI or its predecessor institutions include four United States Senators, a Vice President of the United States, and the author and illustrator of Clifford the Big Red Dog.

All of this supports my notion that IUPUI is now the Leading Palindromic University on Earth.

In fact, if you can believe it, some other great universities don't even have palindromic names.

Before you dismiss me as a ridiculous lunatic, consider, if you will, two American universities, either of which one must now attend if one wishes to become President of the United States or a member of the United States Supreme Court.

Dravrah could pass for the name of some medication advertised on television that will cure an ailment you didn't realize you had until you saw the advertisement. Radiant models glide effortlessly through sun-dappled lives while the announcer advises you to talk with your doctor about whether Dravrah is right for you. The music swells to accompany arresting images during the obligatory, subdued, and rapid warnings about potential side effects like severe internal bleeding, paralysis, and death.

Elay is no better. It sounds like a highly dubious online dating site, about which the less said the better. I don't know whether it actually exists, but if it does, it seems a virtual certainty that several prominent defenders of morality are among its members.

Maybe the west coast fares better?


Drofnats could be a villian from a Dickens novel. The very name conjures up images of rats scurrying along the rafters above his fifth story garret. A single candle burns low in the center of the room, producing only enough light to define his hideous profile as he slouches in the corner, scheming schemes and shivering under multitudinous layers of filthy clothing.

How about the great English universities?

Drofxo has the ring of an east Asian delicacy - perhaps a soup made from the bark of an exceedingly rare and expensive tree. So expensive, in fact, that unscrupulous vendors poison hundreds each year by selling counterfeit Drofxo made of inferior and dangerous ingredients.

Egdirbmac? Isn't that the tiny village on the Czech-Hungarian border where, in the late fifteenth century, an army convinced that four angels can fit on the head of a pin slaughtered a heretic horde whose misguided members thought there was room for only three?

No, IUPUI it is. There is simply no comparison.