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Ian Rolland honored with 2012 Sachem Award by governor

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 7:55 am

Ian Rolland, the former chairman and CEO of Lincoln National Corp., has been honored by Gov. Mitch Daniels with the 2012 Sachem Award, the state's highest honor.

“He's one of the great citizens in recent Indiana history: a superb businessman who created jobs by the thousands, a leader for civil rights and a host of civic causes, a champion of the environment and conservation, and always an exemplar of the highest standards of personal integrity,” said Daniels in a release announcing the award.

The Sachem is given annually to recognize a lifetime of excellence and moral virtue that has brought credit and honor to Indiana. Previous recipients include college basketball coaching legend John Wooden, the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame and philanthropist Bill Cook.

Rolland, a Fort Wayne native, began his career at Lincoln National Life in 1956 and was elected as senior vice president in 1973. He became president and a director of Lincoln National Corp. in 1975 and was named CEO two years later. In 1992 he was named chairman and CEO, retiring in June 1998.

“Ian has been the outstanding community leader of Fort Wayne for over 40 years and has done more for the area in that time than any other person,” said long-time friend Maclyn Parker in the news release.

“While his business success is well documented, the diversity of his community involvement is staggering. He was a leading voice for school desegregation, was instrumental in preserving the Lincoln collection in Fort Wayne and continues his involvement in many charities, education institutions and businesses that are too numerous to name. His financial generosity to the area is well-known, but his greatest legacy can be found in the countless hours of his time and talent he has contributed to many organizations throughout his career.”

Rolland served as a director of the University of St. Francis from 1976 to 1995, and is treasurer for the board of trustees, to which he was elected in 1995. During his terms as director and trustee, he also served on the executive committee and chaired the finance and investment committee. He and his wife, Mimi Rolland, are major contributors to the Rolland Art and Visual Communication Center and other university projects. He serves on other higher education boards and is past board chair for DePauw University.

Rolland sits on the board of more than a dozen non-profits and charities including the Indiana Historical Society, Arts United, Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, the Indiana chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, Courthouse Preservation Trust and the Indiana Heritage Trust.

He has chaired the board of regents for the Indiana Academy, and sits on the boards of prominent corporations, including NiSource and Bright Horizons Family Solutions. He was recently named receiver of the Oakwood Park and Hotel in Kosciusko County and is tasked with reorganizing and reopening the historic park and hotel.

A ceremony to honor Ian Rolland is planned on April 25 at 11 a.m. in the north atrium of the Statehouse.