Historical Society Names Living Legends

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The Indiana Historical Society has announced its annual list of "Indiana Living Legends." This year's class includes The New York Times crossword editor, the longest-serving Indiana University trustee and the head of the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee. May 9, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is pleased to announce that Donald C. "Danny" Danielson, couple Jane Fortune and Robert Hesse, Allison Melangton, and Will Shortz will be honored at the annual Indiana Living Legends Gala, which will take place at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center on Friday, July 25, 2014. The History Center, home of the IHS and the Indiana Experience, is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Each year, the IHS honors extraordinary Hoosiers for their statewide and national accomplishments in a variety of areas and disciplines. This year's honorees were selected from hundreds of nominations.

The gala is the signature fundraising event which assists the IHS in fulfilling 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, individuals and companies are invited to support the IHS mission by attending the event.

The black-tie 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 take place at 7:45 p.m. and will be immediately followed by desserts and coffee.

Tickets can be purchased individually or by table - 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.

The Living Legends Steering Committee is chaired by civic volunteer and IHS Trustee Patricia Curran. For additional information or to receive an invitation, please contact the IHS Development Department at (317) 233-5658 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; and provides youth, adult and family programming. The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of the IHS and the Indiana Experience, is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

For more information, images or to schedule an interview, contact Amy Lamb, Media Relations Manager, at (317) 232-1878 or alamb@indianahistory.org.

2014 Indiana Living Legends Bios

Donald C. "Danny" Danielson

Donald C. "Danny" Danielson has built a life around business, family, philanthropy and volunteerism. Born in Minnesota and raised in South Dakota, Danielson got his first taste of Indiana when he accepted a baseball scholarship from Indiana University.

Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters, and was eventually discharged at the rank of Lieutenant Senior Grade. After World War II, Danielson returned to Indiana University, where he served as assistant alumni secretary and interim varsity baseball coach.

In 1948, Danielson took a chance by accepting a sales position with New Castle Products, Inc., (now Modernfold), which was attempting to market an innovative folding door used to divide big rooms into smaller ones. After starting as a salesman, he served as general sales manager, executive vice president and eventually president of the corporation.

In 1976, he left Modernfold to become senior vice president of City Securities Corporation, the oldest and largest investment banking firm in Indiana. He currently serves as vice chairman of the board for City Securities.

Danielson is the longest-serving trustee in Indiana University's history (1959-1980), including 11 years as that body's president. A member of the IU Foundation Board of Directors since 1967, he has helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars and received numerous IU awards, including an honorary doctorate. Recognition for his service to the community includes two Sagamore of the Wabash awards, the Sachem Award and the Volunteer Fund Raiser Award, just to name a few. He has donated time and resources to several other organizations, such as the Walther Cancer Foundation, Riley Children's Foundation, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

As longtime residents of New Castle, Ind., Danielson and his late wife Patricia were co-founders of the Henry County Community Foundation and helped spearhead fundraising campaigns for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame move to New Castle, the creation of the Danielson Center (IU East - New Castle campus), the Aquatic Center at Baker Park, a new facility for the Henry County YMCA, and many more projects. He has three daughters, eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Jane Fortune and Robert Hesse

Couple Jane Fortune and Robert Hesse have spent their lives creating programs and supporting the arts, both in Indiana and around the world. In 2008, Fortune and Hesse co-founded the Indianapolis City Ballet, a not-for-profit organization that supports ballet performances with international dancers from ballet companies around the world and master classes with these dancers in Indianapolis.

Jane Fortune, an Indianapolis native, is an author, journalist, art collector and philanthropist. She is cultural editor of The Florentine, Tuscany's English-language newspaper. Many of her publications and philanthropic activities are centered on the research, restoration and exhibition of art by women in Florence, Italy.

She founded the Florence Committee of the National Museum for Women in the Arts (Italy), the Advancing Women Artists Foundation (U.S.) and the Jane Fortune Research Program at the Medici Archive Project (Florence). In Philadelphia, Fortune co-founded USArtists. She also served as Chairman of the Board and volunteer President/CEO of the Deafness Research Foundation (now the Hearing Health Foundation).

Fortune is currently an Indianapolis Museum of Art board member and member of the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She also serves on the National Advisory Board of Indiana University Art Museum and is a founding member of the Women's Philanthropy Council at Indiana University. She served on the Dean's Advisory Board at Herron School of Art and Design and is now an honorary member. Fortune served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Studio Arts Center International (Florence).

Fortune has received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Indiana University, as well as the Tuscan-American Prize, the Indianapolis Mayor's Advisory Council on Disability's Accessibility Award and IUPUI's Spirit of Philanthropy Award. A PBS/WFYI documentary based on one of her books, Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence, received a regional EMMY Award for Best Documentary (Historical/Cultural Program category).

The career of Robert Hesse, Ed.D., has included work as Executive Director of the Joffrey Ballet, President of Chautauqua Institution and President of Medaille College (Buffalo, N.Y.). In 1989, he founded Robert Hesse Associates, LLC where he remains as an advisor.

While serving as senior vice president for the U.S. Committee for UNICEF, Hesse established the Change for Good program that still today