Indiana State University Newsroom

Bayh College honors its ‘Legacy in Education’ during 150th celebration

November 9, 2015

With roots that extend back to Indiana State University's founding as a normal school, the Bayh College of Education plays as great a role in the institution's present has it did in its past.

"Today, (the Bayh College) continues to have a well-respected reputation for preparing teachers and principals and has expanded to the preparation of professionals in student affairs, higher education, counseling, speech language pathology and other human service professions," Indiana State President Dan Bradley said during the "Legacy in Education: State Celebrates 150 Years" event on Nov. 6.

Indiana General Assembly's passage of House Bill 119 on Dec. 20, 1865 professionalized the role of teaching in Indiana by creating a normal school for the "preparation of teachers for teaching in the common schools of Indiana."

Since Indiana State opened its doors in January of 1870, the university used education to transform lives, including the lives of the Bayh College's current 1,300-plus students.

"The Bayh College of Education is...a place that serves as a catalyst for innovation, creativity and growth," said Kandi Hill-Clarke, dean of the college. "We have stayed true to who we are, while embracing positive change and growth.

She said the Bayh College continues to respond to the needs of the Terre Haute community, which remains steadfast in its support of the college and its initiatives, such as the Bayh College of Education Scholars to Teachers program, the Woodrow Wilson Fellows program, a nationally-accredited early childhood center, the state-of-the-art Norma and William Grosjean Clinic and the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute.

"Today, in this former school building, you see the legacy of the normal school all around us," Hill-Clarke said. "The fact that this building was once a school bursting at the seams with young creative minds and energy is an appropriate reminder to us all that what we do here is as important, or maybe in even important, than our mission 150 years ago."

Bayh College faculty and staff were joined at the celebration by Christopher Bayh, who represented the Bayh family - the namesake of the College of Education; Glenda Ritz, Indiana's current state superintendent of public instruction; and state Rep. Clyde Kersey, D-District 43, of Terre Haute.

Made possible with support from the university's sesquicentennial committee, the 150th celebration also honored Indiana's first female and longest-serving Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen Reed with the first Leaders and Legends in Education Award recognizing an individual who has made a major impact on education in Indiana.

"For Sue Ellen, it was never about politics. It was always about our children," said Danny Tanoos, superintendent of the Vigo County School Corp. and an Indiana State alumnus who served on the state board of education during Reed's tenure. "During my time on the state Board of Education, I watched Sue Ellen fight for the rights of students and teachers, no matter the cause or who was attacking her."

Reed was selected for the award by the Bayh College's 13-member planning committee, which included sesquicentennial committee chair Brad Balch, dean emeritus and professor of educational leadership in the Bayh College, as well as emeriti, external stakeholders, students, graduates, faculty and staff.

Reed served as state superintendent of public instruction from 1993-2009 and 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.

Reed said she was only possible to accomplish her work because everyone involved "knew there was no greater work than to have the very best system of education we could possibly offer to all of our students."

"We need to make education something that people aspire to and that they understand how critically important the work we do is," she said. "Let's make sure we remember how very important all that we do in our profession will be, not only to the future of our communities, but the state and also the future of our country. There is so much more work that needs to be done and when we all work together, and we don't care who gets the credit, we can do fantastic."

From its inception, the Bayh College has been about more than simply teaching to the books, though. Its emphasis on educating the whole child was highlighted by the event's keynote speaker Stacey Bess.

A recipient of the National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service, Bess is an advocate for the educational rights of impoverished children, especially after her first teaching experience in a small shed behind a Salt Lake City homeless shelter.

As a teacher at the School with No Name, Bess intertwined core subjects with lessons on self-worth for homeless and transient students she taught in grades K-12.

The 11-year experience was the genesis for her memoir, "Nobody Don't Love Nobody," as well as the inspiration behind the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, "Beyond the Blackboard."

For every lesson Bess taught her students, she said she learned even greater life lessons from the children.

"The foundation of teaching is to care deeply about the children you serve," Bess said. "You are in the best business in the whole world. You change the lives of children, which in turn lifts up their families and makes your communities much better places to be. For that, I commend you."

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

Photo:’s%20150th%20celebration%203032-S.jpg - Bayh College of Education Dean Kandi Hill-Clarke presents a welcome address at the college's 150th celebration at Univeristy Hall on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

Photo:’s%20150th%20celebration%203086-S.jpg - Indiana State University President Dan Bradley welcomes attendees to the Bayh College of Education's 150th celebration at University Hall on Friday, Nov. 6.

Photo:’s%20150th%20celebration%203157-S.jpg -  Indiana's first female and longest serving Superintendent of Public InstructionSuellen Reed, second from left,, was the first recipient of the Leaders and Legends in Education award during the Bayh College of Education's 150th celebration on Friday, Nov. 6 at Univeristy Hall. Reed is pictured with Indiana State University President Dan Bradley, left, Dean Kandi Hill-Clarke, third from left, and Danny Tanoos, superintendent of Vigo County School Corp. who introduced Reed at the event.’s%20150th%20celebration%203274-S.jpg - Stacey Bess, recipient of the National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service and an advocate for the educational rights of impoverished children, speaks about her first teaching experience in a small shed behind a Salt Lake City homeless shelter during the keynote address at the Bayh College of Education's "Legacy in Education: State Celebrates 150 Years" event on Nov. 6 at University Hall. - reception photos - program photos