New book details the history of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington

May 6, 2016

As Indiana University celebrates a milestone 70 years of having a school dedicated to health and wellbeing, the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington has published a book detailing the school’s history and how health came to be a major focus on the Bloomington campus. The book, A Legacy Transformed, takes readers through an illustrated history of the development of the predecessor to the School of Public Health-Bloomington, the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER), as well as its transition into the School of Public Health.

A Legacy Transformed - Cover

A Legacy Transformed - Cover

"As early as the 1920's, IU leaders, including then President William Lowe Bryan, saw that occupations associated with health and safety, physical fitness and education, and recreation and parks would be in high demand in the coming years," says Barbara Hawkins, co-author, along with David Skirvin and Mohammad Torabi, of A Legacy Transformed and professor emeritus at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "After World War II, the university moved forward with plans for what would be the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. This was a truly bold and progressive move by Indiana University."

Over the next seven decades, the School of HPER continued on this forward-thinking path, growing and changing to meet the public health needs and trends of not only the local community but the state and nation. It took the next major step in its history in 2012 when it became the School of Public Health-Bloomington, continuing to move the school and its educational programs into the future and charged with addressing the health needs of a new century.

"Since its inception, the school's overall mission has been the prevention of disease, promotion of health, and enhancement of quality of life," says Torabi, founding dean and Chancellor's professor at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "The school has always been ahead of its time in recognizing that the prevention of suffering and premature death, and the enhancement of health and quality of life are very much related to lifestyle. Our school is educating the next generation of public health workers and researching new and innovative ways to combat the chronic conditions that affect our society."

A Legacy Transformed is now available through IU Press ( and