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History of Fowler Courts and "The Courtiers" | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: History of Fowler Courts and "The Courtiers"

Historical Note:

The first Courtiers lived three blocks south of the Purdue Memorial Union on Harrison Street. These men lived in the first type of court building and called themselves the Harrison Hundred. The court style of housing was so successful that the Harrison Hundred soon became the “Courtier 1,000,” two years later, in 1955, when the new courts were built along State Street.

In the fall of 1965, State Street Courts were renamed Fowler Courts. This was done in honor of James M. Fowler who was born in Lafayette and who spent most of his life in the community. Few business projects in northwest Indiana were handled without some involvement of the Fowler family. Mr. Fowler gave much of the land on which the University stands and was treasurer of the Board of Trustees from 1890 until 1929; the year before he died. Fowler House, the main building in the courts and where the dining hall was located, was named after Mr. Fowler’s son and was formally named The Harriet Fowler and James M. Fowler Jr. Memorial House.

As the student organization in the Courts grew to include Residence Halls Apartments South, many special interest groups were formed, as well as the overall Courtier government. Because of the needs of these groups, facilities and equipment were soon made available for the residence hall radio station (WKHJ) and darkroom facilities for Courtier photographers, referred to as Photoshop.

Social programs also developed rapidly, and came to include two annual dances: Mistletoe Madness and the Snowflake Fantasy dinner dance in February. In addition to the annual events, several informal dances became traditional as well as events such as the Halloween Party, children’s Christmas party and Madan Carroll Boat Dance.

At the completion of the 1992-1993 school year, Fowler Courts were torn down to create parking spaces and to make way for what later became First Street Towers. Fowler House is currently used for the Department of Child Development and Family Studies. In July 2011, the Miller Child Learning Center and the CDFS Child Development Laboratory School were combined to form one facility with classrooms in Fowler Memorial House and Hanley Hall.


Orientation brochure, “Purdue University, The Courtiers, Student Union Courts and Fowler House,” 1976-1977

The Courtiers newsletter, 1992-93

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