The Mysterious Board of Aeons

A box recently arrived at the University Archives with this t-shirt inside:

Aeons Shirt Front      Aeons Shirt Back

As the shirt suggests, students here at IU generally do not know much about the Board of Aeons.  I did not know anything about the group myself when I began processing this collection since I’m new here and I was a little afraid to ask when I saw this shirt! After a little research and some work in the existing Aeons collection, I am ready to give you an explanation that will not be as dangerous as one from a wearer of this shirt.

The Board of Aeons has quite a long history at Indiana University.  The group was established in 1921 under President William Lowe Bryan.  With a name inspired by the mythical Aeons placed between heaven and earth, they were charged with serving as liaison between university administration and the student body.  Although the group has never been truly secret, it does keep a low profile so that they can continue their work effectively without undue influence. The Aeons conduct research and create resulting recommendations on campus matters at the request of the administration but their role as active members of the campus community also give them the opportunity to address issues as they see them on campus.  As a result, in the course of its history, the Aeons have had significant impact on policies relating to major issues such racism and discrimination both on campus and in the community. Known to few, the Aeons have been quietly affecting big changes on campus for over 90 years.

Interested in learning more about the Aeons? Contact the Archives!

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