Indiana State University Newsroom

Bayh College to honor “legacy in education” at 150th celebration

October 19, 2015

A celebration of Indiana State University's normal school roots will be at the heart of the Bayh College of Education's "A Legacy in Education: State Celebrates 150 Years" event on Nov. 6.

"It's been a rich history held by so many," said Brad Balch, dean emeritus and professor of educational leadership in the Bayh College who is chairing the college's sesquicentennial committee. "It's a privilege for me to share those historic elements that I know and understand about the college with a host of others, including emeriti, external stakeholders, students, graduates, faculty and staff, each with their own rich perspective on the good work of the college."

Made possible with support from the university's sesquicentennial committee, the event will begin with a 5 p.m. reception in the University Hall Atrium followed by a program at 7 p.m. in University Hall Theater, where Suellen Reed, Indiana's first female and longest-serving superintendent of public instruction, will receive the first Leaders and Legends in Education Award recognizing an individual who has made a major impact on education in Indiana.

Reed, who was selected by the Bayh College's 13-member planning committee, served as state superintendent of public instruction from 1993-2009. She played a fundamental role in major Indiana educational reform initiatives, including academic standards outlining clear and rigorous expectations for K-12 schools and the state accountability system to ensure continued improvement of Hoosier students and schools.

"We decided from the very beginning that we wanted to celebrate the profession of teaching as the cornerstone of our 150th celebration," Balch said. "We came up with the Leaders and Legends in Education Award as part of a larger initiative to celebrate teaching in education as a profession and there was resounding support to reach out to Suellen Reed."

The celebration also will include a keynote address by Stacey Bess, whose memoir Nobody Don't Love Nobody inspired the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, "Beyond the Blackboard." She also is a recipient of the National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in elementary education.

Both speakers highlight the significance of the Bayh College as a place where educators have been molded for centuries, said Denise Collins, associate dean of the college.

"The Normal School was the first state institution to certify teachers and we want to recognize our place in Indiana," she said.

From the strong, solid roots of the Bayh College, many branches have extended, and leaves have grown, said Kandi Hill-Clarke, dean of the college.

"As a college, we have evolved over time and we continue to have a significant impact on our city, state, nation and the world. We are the foundation and roots of this great institution and are proud of our impact," she said. "As we move forward with our work in the Bayh College of Education, we will continue to prepare educators and human service professionals who serve, create, innovate, empower and make a positive difference in the lives of others."

Despite the university's expansion to a more comprehensive campus, Balch said educator preparation remains at the core of Indiana State.

"Many of our secondary programs - math, science, foreign languages, technology and a host of others -are home to their own academic units, but the Bayh College of Education remains that central unit for all educator preparation on campus," he said. "The college has a very distinct vision and mission steeped in the preparation of educators and human service professionals. While education is fraught with change, it is my hope that over the next 150 years we can be responsive to the many changes in our profession and that (we in the Bayh College) remain at the very heart of Indiana State University."

For more information on the event and to RSVP for the reception, go to

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or


Story Highlights

Event will begin with a 5 p.m. reception in the University Hall Atrium followed by a program at 7 p.m. in University Hall Theater, where Suellen Reed, Indiana’s first female and longest-serving superintendent of public instruction.

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