Special Collections & University Archives
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Growing Up on A College Campus


 Elinor Gordon Blair and the Indiana Normal School

Elinor Gordon Blair is the daughter of McClellan Gordon, Mathematics professor at Indiana Normal School from 1892-1927, and Emma Elizabeth Reinhardt, teacher and graduate of Indiana Normal  School. 

Born in 1913,  when faculty lived as well as worked on campus, her life was closely intertwined with that of the Normal School.   As a child she was widely known by students and faculty alike. Above is an image from the 1916 Instano yearbook that jokingly listed her as the president of the freshman class.



Her father,  McClellan Gordon  taught  Mathematics at Indiana Normal School from 1892 to 1927.   In 1910, he married Emma Reinhardt, a school teacher and IUP alumna. Elinor, their only child,  was born in 1913.  He taught mathematics, but he also ran the bookstore and coached a number of sports including baseball and womenís tennis and field hockey.

 To an even greater extent than for modern University professors,  Professor Gordonís life was centered on the  school.

 Before he married, he lived on-campus in rooms in Sutton Hall.  After their marriage, the Gordons lived in a the Smith Mansion overseeing twelve Normal School students, and ate their meals in the school dining room, then Thomas Sutton Hall.

McClellan Gordon on the veranda of Smith Mansion

Professors and students eating in Normal School Dining Hall.

Longtime Normal School faculty McClellan Gordon, Malvina Riddle, Hope Stewart, and Jane Leonard at a fountain on the Normal
School Campus.

More campus views from the Normal School years can be seen in a supplement to the Instano Yearbook  found in the
Elinor Gordon Blair Collection.
Those interested in growing up on the Normal School Campus and the school during these formative
years may to consult the Elinor Gordon Blair papers, Manuscript Group # 129 in IUP Libraries Special Collections and Archives. 
This collection includes the photographs contained on this page and other information documenting the Normal School Years. 

For more information on the history of the University, you may also wish to consult the following secondary sources:
  Created and maintained by  Theresa McDevitt . Last modified April 18, 2005.  Comments on this website are
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