Before there were the Titans and the Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats, there were two options for Marion College students wanting to participate in intramural sports and social clubs: the Amphics and the Eurekans.
On Saturday, Feb. 11, all former Amphics and Eurekans will go into the Indiana Wesleyan University Athletics Hall of Honor inaugural class.
Athletic Director Mark DeMichael said he’s wanted to establish an IWU Hall of Honor for a few years now as a way to establish a stronger sense of tradition as the athletic department continues to improve.
“I don’t think we’re great at tradition,” DeMichael said. “You can forget that there are a lot of people that came before that and there was a lot of success before our recent success and a lot of people that built our foundations before us to have the success we’re having right now.”
The Amphic and Eurekan social and intramural clubs were established in the 1920s and continued through the ‘67-’68 school year. Intercollegiate athletics began in 1968. In addition to competing against each other in athletic competitions, the clubs also would hold prayer meetings, go to Sunday school and church services together and hold fundraisers where each club would try to raise more money for different causes.
Ed Hoover attended Marion College from 1944-1946 on a pre-engineering track before completing his electrical engineering degree at Purdue University. He said he was recruited to be an Amphic, and every single student was part of one club or the other.
“Everyone was either Amphic or Eurekan and it held even after college days for some period of time,” Hoover said. “In fact not too long ago Milly Jacobs [Troyer] was speaking in chapel and she was a Eurekan. She was talking about the Eurekans and I had to call out, ‘I’m an Amphic!’”
Millie Jacobs Troyer ( ‘48) said two seniors influenced her to join the Eurekans while she was in the gym playing basketball her freshman year. She recalls an intense rivalry between the two clubs.
“It was fierce, especially in the athletics,” Troyer said. “We fought hard.”
DeMichael said Sports Information Director Kyle Schmidt came up with the idea to induct all Amphics and Eurekans during nomination committee brainstorming meetings.
“(He said) we should put them up there and consider inducting all Amphics and Eurekans as the foundation, the grassroots of sports at IWU,” DeMichael said. “So that was put up on the whiteboard and the committee just loved it; that was like the first voted elected member of the Hall of Honor were the Amphics and Eurekans.”
Troyer said she is happy to see the Athletic Department remembering the history of the university.
“I’m grateful that somebody’s keeping things alive,” Troyer said. “The past is pretty important.”
DeMichael said the Hall of Honor will be installed to the right of the main entrance of Luckey Arena (where the picture of the Luckey family currently hangs) and will feature an interactive touchscreen display. The display will be installed this week leading up to the Inaugural Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony Saturday, Feb. 11 at 9:30 a.m. in the Henry West Banquet Room in the Barnes Student Center.
In addition to the Amphics and Eurekans, legendary Titans and Wildcats women’s coach Sue Bowman, athletics supporter and contributor Marion Duvall, cross country and track athlete and coach John Foss, men’s basketball star Perry Frank and the 2000 women’s cross country team will all be inducted in.
Hoover said the Hall of Honor induction reinforces the school spirit and pride that Marion College students and alumni still feel.
“I like to see the two organizations recognized,” Hoover said. ”It was rather important on campus because it was an identity we carried by choice.”