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Indiana Historical Society Announces Bicentennial-year Living Legends

June 9, 2016

Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) proudly announces its 2016 Indiana Living Legends. This year, IHS honors former Indiana Governor and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, Indianapolis Children’s Choir founding director Henry Leck, Indiana historian Dr. James Madison, Central Indiana Community Foundation President and CEO Brian Payne and civic and corporate leader Yvonne Shaheen.

Each year, IHS recognizes extraordinary Hoosiers for their local, statewide and national accomplishments, and this year’s list is no exception. IHS will celebrate alongside the 2016 honorees during the annual Indiana Living Legends Gala on Friday, July 22.

The gala, which takes place at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, is IHS’s signature fundraising event. It helps IHS fulfill its mission to be Indiana’s Storyteller™ by supporting its statewide programs and services. In addition to the generous corporate sponsorship of OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. and Lake City Bank, IHS also welcomes individuals and companies to support IHS by attending.

This year’s event will begin with a cocktail reception with the Living Legends at 5:30 p.m., followed by a gourmet dinner at 6:30 p.m. The program will begin at 7:45 p.m., with Scott Sander of WISH-TV 8 as master of ceremonies. IHS will cap the event with coffee and dessert.

The cost to attend is $250 per person or $2,500 for a table of 10. Interested attendees may purchase patron-level tickets for $350 per person or $3,500 for a table of 10. All but $75 of each ticket price is a tax-deductible gift in support of IHS educational programs throughout Indiana.

A selection committee of civic and corporate leaders performs the difficult, but rewarding, task of choosing the recipients. Honoree tribute videos are produced by WFYI.

For additional information, or to purchase tickets, please contact the IHS Development Department at (317) 233-5658 or visit


2016 Indiana Living Legends Bios

Mitch Daniels

Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. is the 12th president of Purdue University and the former governor of Indiana. He was elected Indiana’s 49th governor in 2004 in his first bid for any elected office, then re-elected in 2008 with more votes than any candidate for public office in the state’s history. During his tenure, Indiana went from bankruptcy to a AAA credit rating, led the nation in infrastructure building and passed sweeping education reforms. After a series of transformations, which included the biggest tax cut in state history, and a host of other reforms aimed at strengthening the Indiana economy, Indiana’s business climate is now rated among the nation’s best.

At Purdue, Daniels has prioritized student affordability and reinvestment in the university’s strengths. Breaking with a 36-year trend, Purdue has held tuition unchanged from 2013 through at least the 2017-18 academic year. Simultaneously, room rates have remained steady, meal plan rates have fallen about 10%, and student borrowing has dropped 23% while investments in student success and STEM research have undergone unprecedented growth.

In recognition of his leadership as both a governor and a university president, Daniels was named among the Top 50 World Leaders by Fortune Magazine in March 2015.

Previously, Daniels served as President of Eli Lilly’s North American Pharmaceutical Operations, senior advisor to President Reagan, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.

Henry Leck

An internationally recognized choral director, Henry Leck is a professor emeritus in choral music at Butler University. He is the founder and conductor laureate of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, which he served as artistic director for 30 years. Under his leadership, the organization grew to and continues to be one of the largest and most respected children’s choir programs in the world. Leck recently arranged and conducted the national anthem for Kelly Clarkson and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir at Super Bowl XLVI.

Leck has received many honors including the Sagamore of the Wabash and the state of Indiana Distinguished Hoosier Award. He and the choir received the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award, the highest honor one can receive in the arts in Indiana. Recently, the National Association for Music Education named Leck a recipient of the Lowell Mason Fellows Award, its highest honor.

Leck is a specialist in choral techniques, the child’s voice, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Laban and the boy’s changing voice. He has produced four teaching videos and a textbook, has served as lead author for a choral textbook series and is lead author of a new series of textbooks entitled Voices in Concert.

James Madison

Dr. James H. Madison is the Thomas and Kathryn Miller Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University, Bloomington. An award-winning teacher, Madison has also taught at Hiroshima University, Japan, and at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England. He serves on the boards of Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Historical Society and as a member of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

Madison is the author of several books, including Eli Lilly: A Life; A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America; and Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys: An American Woman in World War II.

Madison’s most recent books are Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana, co-published by Indiana Historical Society Press and Indiana University Press, for adult readers, and Hoosiers and the American Story for young readers.

Brian Payne

Brian Payne is president and CEO of the $725 million Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and The Indianapolis Foundation. Since he joined CICF in November 2000, the Foundation’s annual grantmaking has doubled to almost $50 million. Under Payne’s direction, CICF staff and board redefined the Foundation’s business model and created clarity and focus on how best to accomplish the Foundation’s mission to inspire, support and practice philanthropy, leadership and service in central Indiana.

Payne is also the founder/leader of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick. The Cultural Trail is a $63 million dollar, eight-mile, beautifully designed and landscaped pedestrian and bicycle pathway that connects every significant arts, cultural, heritage, sports and entertainment venue in Indianapolis’ dynamic downtown. Payne has been a featured speaker about the Cultural Trail at conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Payne is the recipient of the IBJ’s Michael A. Carroll Leadership Award, Visit Indy’s prestigious Bill McGowan Leadership Award and the Indiana University Public Policy Institute’s John Krauss Award. He has also been honored as the Indiana Citizen Planner of the Year and has been recognized as one of the world’s most powerful Hoosiers.

Yvonne Shaheen

Yvonne Shaheen is a generous supporter of numerous central Indiana arts, educational and nonprofit organizations, where she lends her talents as a board member and fundraising leader. She has been a member of the University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees for more than two decades. She also serves on boards of directors for the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Community Hospital, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, United Way of Central Indiana, WFYI Public Media and more. Shaheen also has been linked closely with organizations such as the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, where several dinosaurs on display are named for members of her family.

Shaheen is a former elementary school teacher who became president and CEO of Long Electric following her husband’s death in 1987. According to the University of Indianapolis’s website, when she retired in 2004, the company was the largest woman-owned electrical contractor in the state. Shaheen has received many awards, including the Indiana Lifetime Philanthropy Award (2015), the Jack Heiney Award for Philanthropic Leadership (2014) and the Sagamore of the Wabash (2004). She holds honorary doctorate degrees from both Purdue University and the University of Indianapolis.

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