Indiana State University Newsroom

Trustees to consider naming College of Education for Bayh family

October 22, 2009

Indiana State University trustees today (Friday, Oct. 23) are expected to approve naming the university's College of Education for the family of U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh and his father, former Sen. Birch Bayh.

The Bayh family's contributions to Indiana State and to education extend back four generations, Indiana State University Foundation President Gene Crume said in recommending the name change. Naming the college most closely related to the university's initial mission of teacher preparation helps honor those contributions.

"The Bayh family has one of the most recognized names in Indiana public service and in Indiana State University history. The College of Education was a natural fit to recognize the family," Crume said.

"The Bayhs have been associated with ISU for almost 100 years and have been involved with educational policy and reform efforts for the last 40 years," ISU President Dan Bradley said. "Being able to put the Bayh name on our College of Education is a great honor. It reflects the great efforts that they've put into this institution and into education."

The College of Education has long been recognized for outstanding preparation of teachers, school leaders and human service professionals, said Brad Balch, dean of the college.

"We've been touted nationally among the top colleges in the nation for innovative teacher preparation," Balch said. "The opportunity to tie that legacy to the Bayh family and its distinct reputation can only advance that great work."

As governor, Evan Bayh launched the 21st Century Scholars program which provides free tuition for low-income Indiana students who pledge to remain drug free. Indiana State has the largest contingent of 21st Century Scholars in the state.


Since becoming senator, Evan Bayh has helped secure federal funding for the Terre Haute Innovation Alliance, an ISU-based government, education and economic development partnership that helps new or expanding businesses provide real-world experience to ISU and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students. The senator was also instrumental in helping ISU acquire the federal building that will house its College of Business.

While serving in the Senate from 1963 to 1981, Birch Bayh's accomplishments included passage of Title IX of the Education Act, which expanded opportunities for women in academics and athletics, and as principal architect of the 26th amendment that lowered the voting age to 18. He also co-sponsored legislation allowing universities, small businesses and non-profit organizations to retain intellectual property rights to inventions developed from federally-funded research.


Birch Bayh's first wife Marvella, who died from cancer in 1979, was instrumental in getting Hoosier Girls State to move to the ISU campus.

Birch Bayh Sr. was the first athletic director of what was then Indiana State Normal School. He went on to a 28-year career as director of physical education for Washington, D.C. public schools. Bayh Sr's mother, Katherine "Kate" Ward, attended Indiana State in the 1800s.

Birch Bayh Sr. was a distinguished alumnus of Indiana State. Birch Bayh Jr. and Evan Bayh each hold honorary degrees from the university.

Renaming of the College of Education comes just weeks after dedication of its new home in the recently renovated University Hall, which for decades housed Indiana State's lab school prior to its closure in 1992.

"For many years we provided isolated services across 15 floors in a former residence hall. To be together across three floors now enables a type of collaboration we've not been able to take advantage of in the past," Balch said.

The naming also coincides with the announcement of Indiana State's five-year strategic plan that calls for growth in enrollment and degree completion, upgrades in facilities, and expanded community service. It also comes on the same day the foundation will launch the public phase of its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, which has a goal of raising $85 million by December 2011. Approximately 55 percent of the goal has already been raised during the quiet phase of the campaign, foundation officials said

"All these things reinforce my view that we are in charge of our destiny - that ISU, its community, its constituents, and its supporters can plot out the future of ISU" Bradley said. "With the level of support we're getting, we can achieve whatever vision that we have for the institution."


Photos: - Sen. Evan Bayh speaks at ISU's Hulman Center during his 2009 Job Fair and Small Business Summit (ISU/Kara Berchem) - Birch Bayh Sr., grandfather of U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, a 1917 graduate of Indiana State Normal School, was the school's first athletic director. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the university in 1968. (Indiana State University Archives)

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or



Story Highlights

ISU trustees today will consider a recommendation to rename the university's College of Education for the family of U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh and his father, former Sen. Birch Bayh Jr. The naming would honor the family's longstanding ties to Indiana State an

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