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History of MIU

Early Beginnings

In the summer of 1974, a long line of yellow buses pulled into the town of Fairfield, Iowa. The doors opened and young people poured out, setting foot for the first time on the new campus of Maharishi International University (MIU).

history_arrivalThe idea for MIU began in seed form in 1955, when Maharishi Mahesh Yogi began teaching the simple, natural Transcendental Meditation® technique throughout India. His message was as fresh as it was universal — he taught that the purpose of life is the expansion of happiness and that every human being can effortlessly unfold his or her infinite potential.

During the next decade, Maharishi traveled around the globe, teaching millions of people on every continent the Transcendental Meditation technique. As their inner experiences deepened, Maharishi provided profound insights into the process of human evolution, reviving the ancient Vedic tradition of India whose knowledge had been fragmented and misinterpreted for many generations.

The Science of Creative Intelligence

history_maharishiIn 1971, Maharishi began to formulate a new science that would offer a complete, systematic understanding of consciousness. He called the new discipline the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI).

Maharishi envisioned SCI as a supplementary course that could be taught at universities around the world. It would make all fields of knowledge meaningful, revealing the laws of nature at the basis of math, art, biology, and every other area of study. After studying SCI, a student would easily be able to connect any subject to his or her own Self.

In 1971, SCI was introduced at such universities as Yale and Stanford with great success. That summer, Dr. Robert Keith Wallace, a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard whose PhD dissertation had included the first research on the Transcendental Meditation program, organized a large SCI symposium on the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts.

At that conference, in the presence of leading scientists such as Buckminster Fuller, Maharishi announced his intention to create a university whose entire curriculum would incorporate the Science of Creative Intelligence. Its name would be Maharishi International University.

A Consciousness-Based University

Dr. Robert Keith Wallace - founding president

Dr. Robert Keith Wallace, founding president

The idea for a university based on the development of consciousness had previously been suggested by teachers of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Once Maharishi officially inaugurated the project, Dr. Wallace became MIU’s first president, to establish the new university.

Plans continued that summer during a Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course in Spain. Scholars in different fields, including a number of Ivy League-trained PhDs, were selected as MIU’s founding faculty. They began working to establish a curriculum and moved toward accreditation. The faculty then traveled to Santa Barbara, California, where, in 1973, MIU started to offer its first classes.

The Move to Iowa

Before long, MIU’s small Santa Barbara facility, a rented building complex near the University of California, was crowded with students. MIU’s administrators began searching for a full college campus, complete with laboratories, libraries, residence halls and cafeterias. In 1973, Parsons College closed in Fairfield, Iowa, and its million-square-foot campus went up for sale. With the help of private benefactors, Maharishi International University purchased the campus and moved in during the summer of 1974.

The next several years were a time of rapid expansion. MIU was accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the oldest and largest accrediting body in the United States. The first PhD programs began to be offered in 1979. At the same time, more and more research was being published that documented the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique for academic study and in all areas of life.

Today, Maharishi International University is known for its commitment to Consciousness-Based℠ education to unfold the vast creative potentials that often go unused in life, and to sustainability for life in harmony with natural law. After years of expansion and transformation, the University is still dedicated to fulfilling the seven goals that Maharishi expressed more than three decades ago:

  1. To develop the full potential of the individual
  2. To realize the highest ideal of education
  3. To improve governmental achievements
  4. To solve the age-old problem of crime and all behavior that brings unhappiness to our world family
  5. To bring fulfillment to the economic aspirations of individuals and society
  6. To maximize the intelligent use of the environment
  7. To achieve the spiritual goals of humanity in this generation