Bea Gordon


School of Dentistry Certificate of Appreciation (1969)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Dentistry


Bea Gordon was the owner of Bea's College Inn, which was the home away from home for the IUSD dental students for many years. Over the decades, IU's dental classes have gifted the dental school everything from paintings to pianos, usually at graduation when the class officers must decide how to dispense of any cash remaining in the class bank account. The oddest gifts came from the departing DDS Class of 1956, whose unspent dollars paved the way –literally – for future dental students, and brought Bea's College Inn even further into the IUSD fold. The class had a sidewalk built between the school and this burger joint and a dental school‐to‐restaurant paging system installed.

Bea's College Inn? Huh? Well, until the close of 1974, there was a cute little cottage‐like inn on thevgrounds east of the dental school, just a few steps from the side door that leads to the offices of Dental Education and Student Affairs. The inn's manager – and chief cook and bottle washer – was the one‐ina‐
million Bea Gordon, who gladly served meals to the entire campus but who always held a special place in her heart for her most loyal, frequent, and conveniently located customers: IU's dental students. Gordon only had to hear your name once, and she remembered you forever. Because the inn was so close to the school, dental students practically lived there between patients, sipping on soft drinks while playing cards. (And not spending much money –Gordon was a patient businesswoman.) But the Class of 1956 decided that the school needed a more efficient way of alerting Gordon's diners that their dental patients had arrived at the school for their dental appointments. With Dean Maynard Hine's approval, the class's left‐over funds were used to extend the school's paging system to Bea's College Inn. Presumably medical students and other restaurant patrons still had to rely on their watches. The sidewalk was built between the inn and the parking lot, which no doubt kept 1950s dental students' dress shoes free of dew on their early‐morning treks to Bea's for that first cup of coffee.

For her decades of service to the IU dental students, Gordon became the first recipient of the IUSD Certificate of Appreciation in 1969.