In the early 1890s with no automobiles for cruising, IU students spent spring afternoons in a wooded area about four miles east of Bloomington called Arbutus Hill. They sunned themselves while surrounded by the spicy fragrance of the arbutus, a delicate pink ground flower.
Discovered there in 1877 by Professor Boisen, it was thought to be a previously undocumented rarity and became a coveted treasure of the University community.
Even after people realized it was the New England mayflower, Boisen’s name stuck. Students and faculty so fondly associated the arbutus with Indiana that the flower became the namesake of our first yearbook in 1894.
The arbutus has inspired several Hoosier poets and, for a while, annual bouquets were picked for former IU President Herman B Wells. Arbutus Hill, named after the flower, remains today a protective haven for the trailing wild flower.
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Get your free yearbook portrait!
Portrait sittings for the 2020 yearbook are Monday, Sept. 30 - Friday, Oct. 4 in Franklin Hall 130.
Order your copy of the 2020 Arbutus yearbook. Call 812-855-9737 to place your order today.
Thank you to organizations who submitted group photos. The deadline is past for the 2019 yearbook. Look for updates in the fall for submitting group photos for the 2020 yearbook.