Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Mar 7, 2006
Daniels presents 2006 Sachem to the Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

INDIANAPOLIS (March 7, 2006) ? Governor Mitch Daniels today honored the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., with the 2006 Sachem, the state?s highest honor. The president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame received the Sachem before a State House audience that included current university president, the Reverend John I. Jenkins, and Governor Edgar D. Whitcomb, who initiated the Sachem more than three decades ago.

The Indiana governor will give the Sachem to one person per year. It recognizes a lifetime of excellence and virtue that has brought credit and honor to Indiana. Basketball coaching legend John Wooden is the 2005 recipient.

?True greatness is two dimensional. Achievement alone is not enough. The way a person lives his or her life is as important as the things they achieve in that life. Father Hesburgh personifies that ideal,? said Daniels. ?By accepting this award, he has established a bar so high, a standard so stellar, that future governors will have a very tough time determining who will follow him.?

Hesburgh, 88, a Syracuse, New York native, led Notre Dame for 35 years, retiring in 1987. His extensive public affairs career has been recognized worldwide. Among his many awards, Father Hesburgh is the recipient of the nation?s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His various appointments over decades of work have involved major social issues, including civil rights, peaceful uses of atomic energy, and Third World development and immigration reform.

Daniels presented Hesburgh with a specially-designed sculpture that captures the Native American heritage of the Sachem. The sculpture was designed by Jeff Fearin, a Knightstown native and student at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Herron School of Art and Design. The piece is a bronze scroll and pipe tomahawk on Indiana limestone.

Fearin reviewed the history of the term Sachem and found his inspiration for the sculpture from the paper used in the Treaty of Greenville of 1795 between the United States and the Native American tribes in the region, including the Miamis. The scroll represents the treaty. The pipe tomahawk was given by General Anthony Wayne to Chief Little Turtle as a gesture of peace when the treaty was signed. General William Henry Harrison of Indiana also was present at the treaty signing. A display about the Sachem, including the sculpture and information about honorees, is being developed and will be featured at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.

In 1970, Governor Whitcomb introduced the ?Confederacy of the Sachem,? 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 Daniels last year to acquaint him with the concept and to give him custody of remaining Sachem funds.


Editor?s note: A digital photo of the Sachem sculpture may be found at: