updated: 5/25/2011 10:16:59 AM
An event celebrating the life and legacy of the late Bill Cook will be held next week at Indiana University Bloomington. Governor Mitch Daniels will also present the 2011 Sachem to the Cook family during the June 1 celebration. The founder of Cook Group Inc. passed away in April at the age of 80.
May 24, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University and Cook Group invite the public to attend a celebration of life in memory of Bill Cook, founder of Cook Inc., on Wednesday, June 1, at the IU Auditorium. The event will include a reception and program celebrating the life and legacy of Cook.
The celebration will feature dignitaries who worked closely with Cook and musical performances. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will also award Cook the Sachem award, the top honor the state office can bestow, posthumously.
What: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Bill Cook
When: Wednesday, June 1. Reception to start at 5:30 p.m. with program following at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Indiana University Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St., Bloomington, Ind.
*Please note that parking will be available in the Jordan garage, located east of the IU Auditorium on Jordan Avenue, as well as the Herman B Wells Library lot north of the auditorium.
Cook was a long-time friend and benefactor of Indiana University who passed away in April this year. Visit this link to read IU President Michael A. McRobbie's comments on Cook.
About Cook Group
Since 1963, Cook Group companies have been leaders in developing innovative health care devices and therapies that have enhanced medical care for untold numbers of patients. A family-owned, privately held corporation, Cook Group is dedicated to improving people's lives around the world. Its corporate family also includes companies that manufacture specialized industrial parts for nonmedical purposes, as well as businesses that offer commercial services in the fields of real estate development and management, travel and leisure, and retail.
Source: Indiana University
INDIANAPOLIS - Governor Mitch Daniels will present the state’s highest honor, the 2011 Sachem to the family of late leader, innovator, and philanthropist William A. “Bill” Cook next week. The posthumous honor will be part of an event celebrating the life and accomplishments of Mr. Cook on June 1.
“Bill Cook did so many great things, but even more important, he did so many right things,” Daniels said. “Indiana will always revere his character and example beyond all the jobs he created and history he preserved. His was truly a life worth emulating.”
The Sachem is given annually to recognize a lifetime of excellence and moral virtue that has brought credit and honor to Indiana. College basketball coaching legend John Wooden, Notre Dame President Emeritus and world statesman Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, and civic leader Danny Danielson have been previous recipients of the honor.
"We all benefit from Mr. Cook's contributions to the state of Indiana,” said Steve Ferguson, chairman of Cook Group Incorporated. “His fierce commitment to patients, his employees and his community make him a fitting candidate for this honor. We hope this recognition inspires others to follow his example. He was a person of the highest ethical standards."
Cook, who passed away in April, founded Cook Incorporated in 1963 with his wife Gayle joining him as its only employees. Under Cook’s leadership, the company became a worldwide conglomerate and a leader in medical supply innovation and development. Currently, Cook Group Incorporated is comprised of 66 companies and has manufacturing plants in the United States, Australia, Denmark, and Ireland.
Bill Cook had a legendary commitment to community development and philanthropic activity. He was instrumental in the restoration and re-use of many historic buildings in Southern Indiana. He founded the Monroe County YMCA, which is now the largest YMCA in Indiana. Cook companies have provided significant financial support to universities, hospitals, and physicians throughout the country to aid the advancement of education and medical research.
Cook was born in 1931 and grew up in Canton, Illinois. Attending high school in Canton, he lettered in varsity football, basketball, and track. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in 1953 where he majored in biology. After spending two years as an Army medic, Cook began his business career in 1955 with Martin Aircraft and three years later founded his first business, MPL Incorporated, in Chicago. He moved to Bloomington in 1963 to found Cook Incorporated.
Mr. Cook is a four-time recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash and has been named an honorary Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives. He was a member of the Bloomington Hall of Fame, and received many community, historic preservation, and civic awards. Cook has received honorary Doctorate Degrees from Indiana University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Vincennes University, Northwestern University, Marian College, and Spoon River College.
Sachem (Say-chum) background:
In 1970, Governor Edgar D. Whitcomb introduced the “Confederacy of the Sachem,” a group of business, industry, publishing, banking and legal leaders, who served as state hosts, welcoming visitors to Indiana and promoting the state’s culture and economy. The organization’s name came from the Algonquin term applied to village leaders, implying wisdom, judgment and grace.
Bylaws outlined that Sachems were to nominate and recommend Sagamore appointments to the governor. The Sagamore of the Wabash dates to the term of Indiana Governor Ralph Gates in 1945 and has been the state’s highest honor bestowed by the governor.
Following Whitcomb’s term, the Sachem project was not pursued, and the organization dissolved in 1989. Whitcomb visited Daniels in 2005 to acquaint him with the concept and to give him custody of remaining Sachem funds. Governor Daniels recreated the Sachem to underscore the importance of moral example; achievement alone without exemplary virtue does not qualify a person for this recognition.
Each Sachem honoree receives a specially-designed sculpture that captures the Native American heritage of the Sachem. All Sachem recipients will be selected by Indiana’s governor.
Source: Office of the Governor