Indiana University, close?

Last updated March 16, 2020!

Note that not all of the dates below are actual full campus closures – some may just be class cancellations or changes in instruction (as with the spring 2020 COVID-19 response).


We oftentimes hear that the IUB campus “never” closes. It’s true that it is not very common, but below are a list of closings we know about in the last hundred years or so. We know that IU closed in 1833 due to a cholera outbreak – look for a post about that at a later date! We also know that there were likely short-term closures due to water shortages in the 19th and early 20th century but we don’t have a handy list of those dates at this time. Again, something to dig into!

  • February 3, 1908: No heat in the buildings.
  • February 5, 1908: Classes dismissed early due to heavy snow fall and rain.
  • Most of October 1918: Closed by order of the Indiana Board of Health due to the “Spanish Flu”; classes resumed November 4.
  • November 25, 1963: Classes cancelled and offices closed due to Kennedy assassination.
  • January 26-27, 1978: Due to the Blizzard of ’78.
  • March 4-27, 1978: Due to coal shortage.
  • January 18-19, 1994: Due to record low temperatures (-34F).
  • March 20, 1996: Due to 10+ inches of wet, heavy snow.
  • February 14, 2007: Closed til noon due to heavy snow.
  • January 28, 2009: Closed due to snow.
  • December 26, 2012: Closed due to severe winter weather.
  • January 5-7, 2014: Closed beginning 9 PM January 5 through 5 PM January 7 due to a Polar Vortex. Classes were not yet in session and while harsh winter weather throughout the next month had folks hoping for additional closures, that did not occur.
  • January 30, 2019: Classes cancelled due to severe cold, with wind chills predicted to drop as low as -33. Campus remains open.
  • March 10, 2020: University announces all “face-to-face classroom teaching temporarily suspended” following spring break, from March 23-April 5, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The IU community is asked to stay tuned for further announcements due to the rapidly evolving situation. Campus remains open but staff who can are encouraged to work from home.
  • March 15, 2020: University extends virtual instruction through the end of the semester and notifies students instructions regarding dorm move-out will be forthcoming. Campus remains open but staff who can are encouraged to work from home.


During the 1978 Blizzard, hearty IUB staff members who made their way in could be nominated for an “Icicle Award.”

1978 Icicle Award
1978 Icicle Award

Twenty two employees received this award, including 60 year old Willkie cafeteria employee Minnie Carmichael, who walked 20 blocks with a strained ankle so that “her students would be greeted with her smiling face.”