Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317-232-1622

For Immediate Release: Jan 10, 2005
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. inaugurated as Indiana?s 49th governor

INDIANAPOLIS (January 10, 2005) - Mitch Daniels kept a promise he made in August 2003 to the Newton-Jasper Community Band. The group, comprised of residents from Kentland and Rensselaer, performed today as a prelude to inaugural ceremonies officially installing Daniels as the 49th Governor of Indiana.

As his four daughters, Meagan, Melissa, Meredith and Maggie, held the bible used by President Benjamin Harrison when he took the oath of office in 1889, and with his wife, Cheri, at his side, Daniels accepted the oath of office from Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard. More than 9,000 people witnessed the morning ceremony in the Pepsi Coliseum on the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Governor Daniels met many of the attendees on the road while campaigning throughout the state for 16 months and invited them to witness the swearing in ceremony.

Early in those travels, he spent an evening with members of the Newton-Jasper Community Band, listening to their practice and guest-conducting. As he departed that evening, a member of the band asked, "If you get elected governor, can we play at your inaugural?" And so, under the direction of Joy Stowers, the band played for 30 minutes immediately prior to today's ceremony.

Governor Daniels emphasized his message of change that will lead to recovery and return to greatness for Indiana during his inaugural address. Daniels said he will utilize the qualities that make Hoosiers unique, including their quiet strength, resilience and an inherent will to help each other, to assist in bringing meaningful change for residents.

"We offered ourselves as people of change. We urged our fellow citizens to aim higher, to expect more from our state government, but also from our schools, our businesses and, ultimately, from ourselves," the governor said of his time on the road campaigning. "We tried to hold up the prospect of an era in which we would leave behind old arguments for new solutions, provincialism for unified purpose, timidity and caution for boldness and even risk-taking, all with the goal of restoring our state as a place of prosperity and promise."

The governor said that as Indiana builds a new structure to make the state a stronger and better place to work and live, everyone will be called on to do their part to pitch in.

"It's time to raise a new barn in Indiana, a new, stronger structure to house new tools and to make possible far richer future harvests," the governor said. "We will need the whole community to show up."

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) served as master of ceremonies for the event. He welcomed other federal and state guests and offered comments about Daniels, who started his public service career by working in various capacities working for Lugar.

The oath of office also was administered to Lieutenant Governor Rebecca S. Skillman, Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen K. Reed and Attorney General Stephen Carter.

In her remarks, Skillman echoed the governor's message of change. "Mitch Daniels and I believe that we must seize the moment as a state. It is time to act boldly and provide big changes," she said.

In addition to the Newton-Jasper Community Band, several other groups performed as a prelude to the ceremony. Bands from Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne and Evansville North High School performed as did the Seymour Honors Choir and The Oaks Academy Choir (Indianapolis).

Special guests also included more than 1,800 children from school districts throughout the state, fire fighters, police officers, and members of the Indiana National Guard.

The invocation was delivered by Rabbi Mirra Wasserman of Bloomington. Pastor Michael Latham of Fort Wayne provided the benediction. The ceremony was the final inaugural event for the governor, who traveled to his office at the Indiana Statehouse immediately following his acceptance of the oath of office. Other inaugural events on January 9 included a gospel celebration featuring a free concert by Bill and Gloria Gaither, Sandi Patty, and the Eastern Star Baptist Church Choir from Indianapolis, also at the Pepsi Coliseum, and an inaugural gala, which included a dinner and dance at the downtown Marriott Hotel. The governor also invited hundreds of people he met while on the road to a special breakfast before the inauguration ceremony.


Office of the Governor media contact: Jane Jankowski, 317/232-1622