Crowe Hall event honors history-making alums

Two University of Indianapolis alumni who went on to make national history will be remembered Saturday when the university rededicates a residence hall in their honor.

Ray Crowe

UIndy’s New Hall has been renamed Ray & George Crowe Hall in honor of legendary high school basketball coach and public official Ray Crowe, a 1938 graduate, and his younger brother George Crowe, a 1943 graduate who became a barrier-breaking professional athlete.

Delivering remarks at the 4 p.m. ceremony will be Hallie Bryant, who played for Ray’s Crispus Attucks High School team and later spent 27 years with the Harlem Globetrotters; and Ray’s son Lloyd Crowe, now a deputy chief with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Other members of the Crowe family also will attend.

The event coincides with UIndy’s expanded Homecoming festivities this weekend.

About Ray and George Crowe

Ray Crowe, who died in 2003, was perhaps best known as coach of the Crispus Attucks High School basketball team that won state championships in 1955 and 1956, becoming the first African-American team in the nation to claim a state title and launching the career of NBA star Oscar Robertson. Ray was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 and the University of Indianapolis Hall of Fame in 1987.

As a student at UIndy, then known as Indiana Central, Ray earned nine letters in basketball, track and baseball, as well as the education degree that informed his career as a teacher and coach. In 1966, he was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives, serving two terms and chairing the House Education Committee. He later led the Indianapolis parks department from 1976 to 1979 and served on the City-County Council from 1983 to 1987, meanwhile serving 18 years on UIndy’s Board of Trustees.

George Crowe

George Crowe, named Indiana’s first Mr. Basketball while playing for Franklin High School, also became a three-sport standout at Indiana Central, which other siblings also attended. After serving overseas in the Army from 1943 to 1946, he began playing professional basketball and baseball.  He was thought to be the first African-American player to sign with the Boston Braves organization, which he did in 1949, playing in the minors before his big-league debut in 1952.

As an All-Star infielder, George later played for the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976, the University of Indianapolis Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004. He died in 2011. 

About Crowe Hall
Crowe Hall, which first opened in 1988 on the north side of the UIndy campus, houses 154 male and female students in separate wings. Rooms are double-occupancy, and most are arranged in quads with a common living area for the eight residents to share.