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Sachem Award Presented To New Castle Man, Former IU Trustee

Last updated on Thursday, April 16, 2009

(STATEHOUSE) - Governor Daniels has presented the Sachem Award, Indiana’s highest honor, to former Indiana University Board of Trustees President Danny Danielson.

The 89-year-old Danielson has left a large mark on the state, the university, and his adopted hometown of New Castle. Danielson is the longest-serving trustee in IU history, and chaired several major fund drives after leaving the board.

The former president of New Castle-based Modernfold also spearheaded the drive to locate the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle, and was national board chairman of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 1982 to 1987.

He is a member of the board of the Walther Cancer Foundation. In a ceremony at the Indiana State Library, Danielson called the award the second-greatest honor of his life, trailing only his wife patty's acceptance of his marriage proposal.

Danielson came to Indiana when he accepted a baseball scholarship to IU. A second baseman, he played a single season in the Brooklyn Dodgers' farm system in 1941 and hit .286 with one homer. He joined the Navy after Pearl Harbor, and declined the Dodgers' spring training invitation after World War II ended, instead returning to IU as varsity baseball coach.

Then-governor Edgar Whitcomb established the Confederacy of Sachems as an elite state honorary society in 1970, but the concept fell dormant after Whitcomb left office two years later.

Daniels revived the idea at Whitcomb's urging in 2005, transforming it into an annual honor for a single Hoosier for a lifetime of excellence and virtue.

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