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IHS Seeks Nominations for Annual Awards

Each year, the Indiana Historical Society recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations whose efforts have enriched the lives of others by conveying awareness and appreciation of Indiana’s history on local, regional and statewide levels. IHS encourages organizations, individuals and communities across the state to nominate deserving projects and individuals for their efforts to promote the preservation, awareness and appreciation of state and local history.

Founders Day 2015

Award Categories

Caleb Mills Indiana History Teacher of the Year – to a teacher (of 4th through 12th grades) currently teaching American or Indiana history and recognized by colleagues as making a significant contribution to the understanding of these two fields by his or her students

Dorothy Riker Hoosier Historian Award – to a historian who has made distinguished contributions to the field of historical scholarship and/or the affairs and activities of IHS

Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award – to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions over an extended period of time to the field of history and/or the affairs of IHS

Hubert Hawkins History Award – to a local historian for distinguished service and career in local history

Willard C. Heiss Family History/Genealogy Award – to a family historian for distinguished service or career in Indiana family history, including presentation, use of materials and preservation

Outstanding Historical Organization Award – to a local or county historical society, organization or site in Indiana that has demonstrated remarkable public services and programs to its community

Indiana History Outstanding Event or Project Award – to an organization for an exceptional educational event or history project implemented during the past year, either one-time or ongoing, and relating to that organization’s mission (examples include reenactments, publications, innovative media usage, exceptional teacher training, and displays or exhibitions)

Outstanding Bicentennial Collaborative Project – recognizes a project for exceptional involvement of multiple organizations implemented during the past year. Projects must be a Bicentennial-related event or history project, either on-time or ongoing. Special consideration will be given to those who include project evaluation with nominations.

Nomination Instructions

Download a nomination packet here, or call (317) 232-1888. Nominations must be postmarked no later than July 14, 2017.

Annual Founders Day Dinner and Awards  (NEW DATE)

2017 award winners will be honored at the annual Founders Day Dinner on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get a nomination form?
Download the nomination form and instructions here. Call (317) 232-1888 or email kfetters@indianahistory.org to request one via email.

Which award category should I choose?
Choose the category that you feel best describes the work of the person or organization being nominated. The Awards Committee reserves the right to move nominees into different categories, award multiple nominees within a category or decline granting an award within a category as appropriate.

Should I nominate the organization or one person from the organization?
Both the Outstanding Historical Organization Award and the Indiana History Outstanding Event or Project Award are given to an organization rather than an individual. A nomination for either of these awards should still include the name and contact information for someone at the organization who can be the main contact in the event that the organization is selected as an honoree. If the achievements of an individual from an organization meet the qualifications for any of the other award categories, that individual may be nominated separately.

What material is required along with the nomination form?
All nominations must include the nomination form and a minimum of two letters of support. Additional material which help to document the individual’s or organization’s work may include additional letters of support, newspaper articles, brochures, photographs, book title pages, resumes, mission statements and project summaries. Please ensure that all supporting documents are copied on 8½ x 11 paper.

What should I say in my letter?
Letters of support should clearly state the nominator’s relationship to the nominee and knowledge of his/her/its achievements. Letters may also address the quality of work undertaken by the nominee and/or describe the nominee’s impact on the community.

Who makes up the award selection committee?
The Awards committee is composed of a diverse panel of Indiana Historical Society staff, trustees and community members as appointed by the IHS Executive Committee.  

To whom do I address the letter?
Letters should be addressed to the Awards Committee and mailed to 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Can I nominate myself?
There are no rules to discourage self-nomination. However, the nomination should include at least two letters of support from people who know you or your organization.

When will I be notified about my nomination's status?
All nominators will be notified in writing about the outcome of the Awards selection in late September. Award winners will also be contacted in early September.

I missed the deadline. Can I resubmit my nomination next year?
Nominations will be accepted only if they are postmarked on or before July 14, 2017. If you miss the deadline, you are welcome to resubmit your nomination the following year. With the exception of the Indiana History Outstanding Event or Project Award, nominations may be resubmitted if the person or group has not received an award in the previous years. Keep a copy of your nomination materials for the resubmission, as the copy received by IHS will not be returned to you.

I have additional questions. Who do I contact?
Please send an e-mail to Kay Fetters at kfetters@indianahistory.org or call her at (317) 232-1888.