Governor Eric J. Holcomb presented the Sachem Award, the state’s highest honor, to Reggie O. Jones, Sr. on September 25, 2020
Sachem (Say-chum) background:
In 1970, Gov. Edgar D. Whitcomb introduced the Sachems, a group of business, industry, publishing, banking and legal leaders, who served as state hosts, welcoming visitors to Indiana and promoting the state’s culture and economy. The organization’s name came from the Algonquin term applied to village leaders, implying wisdom, judgment and grace.
Following Whitcomb’s term, the Sachem project was not pursued, and the organization dissolved in 1989. Whitcomb visited Gov. Daniels in 2005 to acquaint him with the concept. Gov. Daniels recreated the Sachem to underscore the importance of moral example; achievement alone without exemplary virtue does not qualify a person for this recognition.
Fifteen Sachem awards have been bestowed since the honor was revived in 2005:
2005: John Wooden — Legendary college basketball coach, teacher and mentor
2006: Rev. Theodore Hesburgh — Former president of the University of Notre Dame and world statesman
2007: Jane Blaffer Owen — Philanthropist and preservationist of New Harmony
2008: Bill and Gloria Gaither — Grammy winning singer/songwriter duo from Alexandria, Indiana
2009: Donald C. “Danny” Danielson — New Castle business and civic leader
2010: Carl D. Erskine — Civic leader and legendary baseball player
2011: William A. “Bill” Cook — Philanthropist and cofounder of Cook Inc.
2012: Ian M. Rolland — CEO of Lincoln National Corp.
2013: Don Wolf — Civic leader and CEO of Do It Best, Corp.
2014: P.E. MacAllister — Long-time businessman and civic leader
2015: Amos C. Brown, III — Radio host and civic leader
2017: Eva Mozes Kor — Holocaust survivor; forgiveness and civility advocate
2018: Sammy L. Davis — Vietnam veteran, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient
2019: Dr. George Rapp — Humanitarian
2020: Reginald O. Jones, Sr. — Businessman, community leader and mentor
Each Sachem honoree receives a specially designed sculpture. All Sachem recipients are selected by Indiana’s governor.