Indiana Jones Wiki

"Sapientia et lux"
―The Marshall College motto, "wisdom and light"[src]

Marshall College was an American university and liberal arts college in Bedford, Connecticut. It was one of the schools where Indiana Jones taught as a professor of archaeology and was governed by a Board of Regents.

The college hosted the state's branch of the National Museum. There, Marcus Brody served as curator of the museum and paid for many of the minor artifacts that Jones retrieved on his expeditions until Brody retired to become Marshall's Dean of Students, a role he held for most of the World War II years until he was succeeded by Charles Stanforth.

Although Cold War paranoia briefly saw Jones pushed out of his job in 1957, he was able to regain his position and be promoted to Associate Dean of the college. However, the role was brief as Jones spent the final decade of his career with Hunter College.


In 1772,[6] the institute that would become Marshall College started as a prep school. In 1853, the school received a collegiate charter and was renamed after its chief patron, Frederic Marshall,[7] when it was upgraded to a college by wealthy Connecticut industrialists. Marshall's holdings were further bolstered upon the untimely death of one such person, Burke J. Carter, killed in an African hunting accident, who had bequeathed most of his estate to the school.[3]

In 1856, the Marshall College Library was constructed.[5] Several other buildings were named for individuals, including the Burke J. Carter Library, Becker Hall—after Samuel Becker, an obscure 17th century English scientist—and later Woolley Hall which celebrated the man who excavated the royal tombs of Ur. However, Becker's honor was taken away around 1906 when a descendant discovered that the scientist's career had thrived off stealing others' work.[3]

Originally a male single-sex school, the college eventually became coeducational. Although it taught mathematics and the sciences,[3] Marshall College's reputation developed around its literature, linguistics and archaeology programs,[7] the latter of which fell under the purview of the wider history department.[3]

While Indiana Jones was mainly associated with London University, his first professorship, in 1925,[8] the year also saw Jones begin teaching at Marshall College. It was there that his mentor, Abner Ravenwood, reached out to him for one last (and ultimately unsuccessful) expedition in pursuit of the Ark of the Covenant.[9] Jones returned to Marshall about a decade later after having taught at Princeton University for a number of years in the early 1930s.[7]

Indy lecturer

Indiana Jones taught Archaeology 101 at Marshall College.

In 1936, Jones's performance was evaluated by Dean Charles Kennedy who found the professor to be professional and popular with students despite unorthodox methods, and noted that his frequent absences were tolerated on the condition that Jones provided a colleague or teaching assistant who could support his students.[9] Jones family friend Marcus Brody occasionally covered for Jones's lectures. Support for Jones among the university faculty, however, was not unanimous as some staff members chafed at his high number of female admirers, predilection for adventure, or envied his funding.[3] Dean Kennedy considered that the public recognition that had grown out of the archaeologist's findings had been to Marshall's benefit though he was wary of bad publicity.[9]

Jones was teaching Archaeology 101 when the college received some US government visitors: Major Eaton and Colonel Musgrove. Meeting in a large lecture hall, they enlisted Jones' help in tracking down the whereabouts of Abner Ravenwood, in a search to prevent the Nazis from finding the Ark of the Covenant.[10]

Afterwards, Indiana Jones resumed teaching and was visited by former pupil Charlie Dunne at his office. Dunne informed him that his sister Edith and he had discovered the resting place of the Ikons of Ikammanen in Liberia. However, Dunne was suddenly killed from outside the window by a knife thrown by an unseen assailant. With no time to catch the murderer and the path to relics being the only lead, Jones sent Brody to contact the police while he went to Africa to rendezvous with Edith Dunne.[11]


Marshall College at night.

In October 1937, Jones was woken at his desk in the middle of the night by a break-in at the university and was pulled into a global mystery when the thief was only interested a museum piece which had been thought to have been of little historical significance.[12]

Towards the close of 1937/beginning of 1938, Jones had left the university for Barnett College in New York,[13] but re-took his position at Marshall by the mid-'50s. In the interim, Marcus Brody became Dean of Students for most of World War II.[4]

In 1957, the FBI considered Professor Jones a person of interest and suspected him of having Communist sympathies. With America firmly in the grip of the Red Scare, the Board of Regents was pressured to fire the archaeologist. Although Dean Charles Stanforth, Brody's successor, stood up for Jones and managed to secure a more graceful exit for him, it was at the cost of his own position. After being granted an "indefinite leave of absence", Jones was set to leave Bedford, but met Mutt Williams at the local train station.[4]

When KGB agents chased Jones and Williams through the town, Williams drove his motorcycle across the Marshall College campus to shake off the cars pursuing them. During the pursuit, they rode through the campus quad where an anti-Communist rally was being held. One of the cars chasing them got hit by protest signs caricaturing Soviet leaders like Nikita Khrushchev. Blinded, the driver crashed into a memorial of the late Marcus Brody. The statue's head broke off, landing in the lap of the driver.[4]


Mutt and Jones riding through the library.

To avoid the second car, Williams drove up the steps into the Marshall College Library, where he skidded to stop, scaring students and sliding under several tables thanks to the bike's velocity. One student was not as easily perturbed by the unorthodox arrival of the two, and simply asked Professor Jones for guidance with his assignment. Jones' response was to get out of the library and go do field work. The pursuing car, unable to enter the library, fled the scene when police sirens were heard.[4]

Later, Jones' role in stopping the Soviet plot to find the Crystal Skull of Akator cleared his reputation, and the college reinstated both him and Stanforth, with Jones promoted to associate dean. While Jones' name and new title were being painted on his office door, Stanforth rushed through the building to his own office, to retrieve a Book of Common Prayer, which was needed at the wedding of Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood.[4]

Despite his promotion and restored reputation,[4] Jones soon moved on again from Marshall and saw out the rest of his academic career with over a decade teaching at Hunter College before his retirement in 1969,[14]

Staff and students[]



A portrait of former Dean of Students, Marcus Brody

Other staff[]




Students of Jones in 1957



Layout of the Marshall College campus circa 1936.

Behind the scenes[]

Marshall College is named in honor of Frank Marshall, a regular collaborator with Spielberg and a producer on the Indiana Jones series. When the college scenes were written and shot for Raiders of the Lost Ark, there was no perceived need to name it,[24] but when the novelization was being written, author Campbell Black wanted to call the school something, so Marshall College was conceived.[25] Marshall himself forgot this detail until, when the film crew reunited to shoot the college scenes for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, he began seeing his name everywhere.[24]

The college is also unidentified in David Koepp's Crystal Skull screenplay[26] but was named as Marshall University in Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods by Frank Darabont,[27] who was one of the writers brought in before Koepp to develop a screenplay for the fourth film.[24]

In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the establishing shot of the College is the exterior of the Faye Spanos Concert Hall in the University of the Pacific Conservatory, with the interior classroom filmed at Rickmansworth Masonic School in Hertfordshire, England.[28]

External shots of the Marshall College campus were filmed at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, during July 2007 for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The Yale Commons was turned into the Marshall College library interior setting while the entrance to the Sterling Memorial Library served as the Marshall College library entrance. William L. Harkness Hall was used for the archaeology lecture hall and corridor. The Old Campus quad was used for the protest and car crash scene, and Branford College was also used for some of the campus shots. The establishing shot is once again the Faye Spanos Concert Hall as the footage from Raiders was digitally edited and re-used to depict the building over two decades later.[29] As a result, the very same students from the first film's 1936 setting can be seen outside during Crystal Skull in 1957.[10][4]

Across Lawrence Kasdan's drafts for Raiders, the setting of Indiana Jones' meeting with Musgrove and Eaton moves from the National Museum in Washington DC to a small New England college.[30] The Production Timeline of the Indiana Jones Timelines feature on the Crystal Skull Blu-ray states that Marshall College is situated in San Francisco based on the archaeologist's flight out of the city in Raiders and implies that the Indy IV school's placement in Connecticut[31]—another detail in Campbell Black's book[25]—is a retcon brought about to accommodate the additional filming location requirements, adding that George Lucas' backstory was simply that Indiana Jones moved cities after World War II.[31] However, this doesn't appear to take into account that the character is shown to be teaching at Barnett College in New York for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.[32]

Images in the film bearing the university's coat of arms indicate that Marshall College was established in 1772. Although difficult to make out in the movie itself, the wording can be read in the film's "making of" feature on DVD and Blu-ray.[33]

There did exist a real Marshall College in 1936, in Huntington, West Virginia. Known today as Marshall University, Marshall was a college until 1961 when it was granted university status which later became the setting of the movie, We Are Marshall.



Notes and references[]

  1. Indiana Jones action figures (Pack: The Lost Wave)
  2. Indiana Jones Cryptic
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 3.41 Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  5. 5.0 5.1 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novel
  6. Production Diary: Making of "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
  8. Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Raiders of the Lost Ark
  11. FAIJ The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones – "The Ikons of Ikammanen"
  12. Indiana Jones and the Great Circle
  13. Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide specifically lists Jones as beginning his professorship with Barnett in January 1938 which contradicts Indiana Jones and the Arms of Gold set in Fall 1937 but the guide timeline places Arms of Gold in February 1938.
  14. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  15. The Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook indicates that Indiana Jones is an Assistant Professor for Marshall College during the 1936-1937 school year but no source specifies when that changes. He's a tenured professor of archaeology in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  16. The Greatest Adventures of Indiana Jones places the closing scenes of Crystal Skull in late 1957 but the movie's costume designer Mary Zophres consciously dressed the characters for spring, potentially putting the promotion in 1958 or later.
  17. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  18. Walt Disney WorldSkipper Canteen
  19. Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide doesn't specify the year but states that Stanforth replaced Marcus Brody.
  20. FAIJ The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones – "Deadly Rock!"
  21. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comic adaptation and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novelization
  22. The novelization of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull names this chapel as the one in which Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood are wed in 1957.
  23. The novelization of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull names this library as the one in which Indiana Jones and Mutt Williams crash in 1957.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
  25. 25.0 25.1 Raiders of the Lost Ark novel
  26. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at
  27. Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods
  28. Raiders Of The Lost Ark film locations at
  29. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull film locations at
  30. Raiders of the Lost Ark script development
  31. 31.0 31.1 Indiana Jones Timelines – Production Timeline
  32. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  33. Production Diary: Making of "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"

See also[]

External links[]