O'Bannon Institute to Feature
Joe and Maggie Kernan
March 29, 2006
Bloomington, Indiana—Former Governor and First Lady, Joe and Maggie Kernan, will be the featured guests of the 2006 O’Bannon Institute for Community Service at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington. The third annual event will take place on April 27th and April 28th. This year’s O’Bannon Institute includes a series of panel discussions with panelists from around the country, a fundraiser for Ivy Tech’s Center for Civic Engagement, and service activity projects throughout the community to bring students, faculty and staff in contact with local, non-profit organizations that are in need of volunteers.
The theme of this year's Institute is "If Not Government, Who?" and panel discussions will focus on government's role in meeting the needs of society, and what problems/opportunities arise when government cannot fulfill its obligations. Panels include:
- Panel One: Running on Empty: The Government's Role in Providing Social Services in an Elastic Economy
- Panel Two: Pray or Pay?: The Role of Faith-Based Institutions in Providing Social Services
- Panel Three: Picking up the Ball and Running with It: The Best Practices of Non-Governmental Organizations.
Panelists from the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the American Red Cross, IU's Poynter Center, Rotary International, and the US Fund for UNICEF will share their expertise throughout the day on Friday. A conversation with the Kernans will conclude the event.
John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, says that the former governor was dedicated to providing educational opportunities for everyone in Indiana. “It’s extremely fitting that the Kernans are this year’s featured guests at the college’s O’Bannon Institute. As both lieutenant governor and governor, Joe was instrumental in the development and transformation of the state’s community college system. He realized the important role that Ivy Tech could play in ensuring that every Hoosier is given the opportunity to attend college and supported the plans that have made us the institution we are today. Just as importantly, Joe’s life story of sacrifice for and dedication to public service serve as a model for our students. In his newest career move, I’m sure he’ll hit one out of the park for us.”
The former governor and first lady will participate in the O’Bannon Conversation which concludes the two-day event. “We are honored to be joining Ivy Tech and the greater Bloomington community at this year’s O’Bannon Institute,” said Governor Kernan. “Not only does the conference honor the legacy of our good friend, Frank O’Bannon, but it focuses on the importance of community service and giving something back to the places we call home.”
Sworn in as Indiana’s 48th governor upon the death of Governor Frank O’Bannon on September 13, 2003, Joe Kernan provided leadership for the state during a tragic and historic transition. Kernan had served with O’Bannon since 1996 when he was asked to join the statewide ticket as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. The O’Bannon-Kernan ticket won the 1996 election, and was re-elected in 2000.
Kernan was first elected to public office in 1987 when he became mayor of South Bend, after serving as city controller from 1980 until 1984. He went on to be the city’s longest serving mayor, re-elected in 1991 and 1995, when he won with more than 82 percent of the vote.
In 1969, Kernan entered the U.S. Navy and served as a naval flight officer aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. In May 1972, he was shot down over North Vietnam and was held as a prisoner of war for nearly 11 months. Kernan was repatriated in 1973 and continued on active duty until December 1974. For his service, Kernan received numerous awards, including the Navy Commendation Medal, two Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Kernan currently works as a business development consultant and recently fulfilled his dream of owning a baseball team when he put together an investment group that purchased the South Bend Silver Hawks, a minor league baseball team that will begin their 19th season this spring. He was a catcher on the baseball team at the University of Notre Dame.
Maggie Kernan, Indiana's former first lady, is a South Bend native and has worked in communications, human service and marketing since graduating from Purdue in 1974. She is a business banking manager for 1st Source, a South Bend headquartered financial institution. Serving as First Lady gave Mrs. Kernan the opportunity to focus on issues about which she felt passionate. A longtime volunteer in her hometown of South Bend and in various state-wide organizations, she has had extensive personal experience as a mentor. Drawing on her experience as both a mentor and a business woman, she created the statewide “Mentor Indiana” program during her 15 months as Indiana’s first lady. The goal of the program was to get students on the right track for graduation from high school, and to make sure that they were prepared for post secondary education or training.
Mrs. Kernan also presided over the completion of the Governor’s Residence accessibility project, which began under the direction of former First Lady Judy O’Bannon. Designed to make the Governor’s Residence accessible for people with disabilities, the project involved the construction of a 2,600 square foot addition to the residence. The Kernans publicly opened the doors of the renovated residence to all Hoosiers in February 2004.
In addition to the Kernans appearance on Friday, Ivy Tech will host a fundraiser on Thursday evening featuring former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) at the Bloomington Convention Center to raise funds for the support of its Center for Civic Engagement.
Those interested in attending the O’Bannon Institute should contact Gretchen Bass at 812-330-6001, toll free at 1-866-447-0700 ext. 6001 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation.
Except for the fundraiser, the event is free and open to the public.