Fountain of Joy: Showalter Fountain

Girl draws Showalter Fountain at sunset
Photo credit: Andrew Williams, Arbutus Yearbook

Over the years, I have grown to love different areas all over campus. I have specific study spots I prefer, places I know have better food and places that remind me of some important moments in my life.

The one place that defeats all those other wonderful places is Showalter Fountain.

One of IU’s most recognizable landmarks, Showalter Fountain marks the center of campus. Beautiful limestone buildings and gorgeous landscaping surround it. In the fall, this area is continues to be one of the most beautiful places on campus because the trees that line Seventh Street burst with colors.

Although this area is one of the busiest spots on campus, this is one of the most peaceful places as well. There is something about the sound of the water and the flowers and plants that can make a stressful or busy day slow down, and it definitely helps me relax. Even as people are rushing past you going to class, a scooter nearly crashes into you, or you have to wait for the W bus to slowly come around the circle, this spot gives you the chance to sit down at one of the many stone benches that surround the area and relax.

Showalter Fountain is also the one of the places that helped me decide to come to IU. I attended the High School Journalism Institute between my junior and senior year. At that point, I wasn’t exactly sure if IU was my home and was considering other schools (this horrifies me now). As a group, we walked around campus and then went to Showalter Fountain. One of the more popular IU traditions is sticking your feet in the fountain, so we did it. I stuck my feet into the freezing cold water, and I can still remember the smell—and worrying about falling in.

During those two weeks on campus, I felt like if I went to IU, there would be so many things for me to experience and I could be a part of something bigger. As I splashed my feet in the fountain (and tried to position my feet in the most photogenic way to get a picture for Instagram), I realized that maybe IU is the place for me, and maybe I could come back and stick my feet in the fountain again as a student.

After coming to campus, Showalter Fountain has become a huge part of my journey as a student and has served a lunchtime spot, landmark for my walks to classes and a great spot for headshots and other photos.

There are so many amazing places on campus to explore and I hope this is one stop on your tour!

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