Indiana State University Newsroom

Bayh Family Legacy Wall dedicated

May 17, 2013

A new interactive display in Indiana State University's Bayh College of Education pays tribute to the family for whom the college is named.

The Bayh Family Legacy Wall, dedicated Friday during a ceremony that drew more than 250 people, chronicles four generations of the west-central Indiana family whose connections with Indiana State go back more than 100 years.

"Indiana State is proud of its many connections to the Bayh family," said university President Dan Bradley. "This tribute will provide greater awareness of the enormous impact the Bayhs have had on our state and our nation, especially in increasing access to education and other opportunities through the passage of Title IX and the creation of the 21st Century Scholars program."

Kate Ward, former Sen. Birch Bayh's grandmother, attended Indiana State Normal School as did her daughter, Leah Ward Hollingsworth, who was Birch Bayh's mother. The former senator's father, Birch Bayh Sr., served as the school's first athletic director and as a coach for multiple sports while Birch Bayh and his wife, Marvella, both attended Indiana State Teachers College in the 1950s.

The museum-quality display features a timeline that chronicles the Bayh family's ties to Indiana State as well as significant accomplishments in public service, with an emphasis on those related to public service. It notes the Indiana General Assembly's 1958 passage of school consolidation legislation Birch Bayh authored as a state lawmaker and the 1992 launch of Indiana's 21st Century Scholars program during Evan Bayh's tenure as governor.

A series of videos includes features on Birch and Marvella Bayh's marriage, Birch Bayh meeting with Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter and jogging with female runners to commemorate the passage of Title IX of the Education Act of 1972. That's a measure he authored that has led to greater opportunities for women in professional and graduate degree programs and in athletics. There are also videos from Evan Bayh's time as governor and senator and dealing with his support in Congress for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

"These accomplishments are only a snapshot of the Bayh impact," reads an inscription on the wall. "This entire space is dedicated to preserving the family legacy and honoring the manner in which they stayed true to the Midwestern values that have guided their principles while serving the citizens of Indiana."

Brad Balch, dean of the Bayh College of Education, said the Bayh family has had a significant impact on education and public policy in general, and on Indiana State University in particular.

"The Bayh Family Legacy Wall is a wonderful way to acknowledge these important contributions. The family's commitment to education and devotion to service is exemplified through the various elements of the Legacy Wall. The video montage is particularly moving. Admirers of the Legacy Wall will experience something different each time they visit the display," Balch said.

Speaking on behalf of his family, Evan Bayh said he was humbled by Indiana State's naming of the Bayh College and the Legacy Wall.

Bayh said multiple generations of his family have been committed to education because it enables people to live better lives.

"Life is a lot more about what you've done for others than what they've done for you," he said.

Investment in education and research is vital in the face of the "innovation economy" that has now supplanted an economy based on information or service, Bayh said. At the same time, he said, it is important that "increased resources translate into the end result that we want."

He cited the 21st Century Scholars Program as his proudest education-related achievement and pointed to the passage of Title IX as his father's most significant education-related legacy.

"If anyone wonders why ISU's trustees voted in October 2009 to name the College of Education for the Bayh Family, the Legacy Wall answers every question," said Bill Moreau, a member of the Barnes & Thornburg law firm who has worked for both Birch and Evan Bayh.

"The Wall will inform and remind all those who pass through University Hall of the extraordinary contributions made to ISU, Western Indiana, our state and nation by this line of distinguished public servants," Moreau said. "I, for one, hope the Bayh family will continue to add chapters to this rich history."

Installation of the Bayh Family Legacy Wall was made possible by donations from more than 70 individuals and organizations, including a lead gift from the Herbert Simon Family Foundation.

Photo: - Evan Bayh speaks in front of a video showing his father, Sen. Birch Bayh, jogging with young women to commemorate the passage of Title IX of the Education Reform Act of 1972. Passage of the measure, which the senior Bayh authored, led to increased opportunities for women in education and athletics. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Photo: - Former Indiana governor and Sen. Evan Bayh represented his family Friday, May 17, 2013, at the dedication of the Bayh Family Legacy Wall in Indiana State University's College of Education. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Photo: - Two women attending the dedication of the Bayh Family Legacy Wall at Indiana State University's Bayh College of Education watch a video featuring Beau and Nick Bayh, 17-year-old twin sons of former Sen. Evan Bayh and his wife Susan. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

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