Indiana University Northwest Professor Emeritus George Roberts, Ph.D., received today the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash for his contributions to the Hoosier heritage. Roberts, of Crown Point, has gained acclaim for his skills in the classroom and his abilities as an observer of the political scene. State Rep. Bob Kuzman(D-Crown Point) presented the award from Gov. Joe Kernan to Roberts during a brief ceremony at IU Northwest, where Roberts is a professor emeritus of political science in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA).
"Here is a man who has successfully molded the lives of many young people through the years, both through his love of the political process and his steadfast belief that a true citizen takes the time to get involved in activities in the communities where they live and work," Kuzman said in presenting the award.
"Thanks to the efforts of people like George Roberts, many people have chosen to participate in public service and become active leaders in their cities and towns," he added. "I am pleased to join Gov. Kernan in presenting this honor on behalf of all those who have been led by his example."
Roberts earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in 1953 with highest distinction and his doctorate from Indiana University in 1962. A professor at IU Northwest for 30 years, Roberts taught with vigor and only accepted the highest quality of work from his students. Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services and former Director of SPEA Joseph Pellicciotti knew Roberts as a colleague and friend for the past 20 years.
"Many times over the years George’s former students have told me how much he has meant to them. They have grown intellectually, becoming better thinkers and better able to understand American government and politics," Pellicciotti said. "George truly is a great citizen of the State of Indiana and very deserving of this high honor."
Roberts is the author of numerous works, including an often-cited seminal book entitled Paul M. Butler: Hoosier Politician and National Political Leader. He has authored numerous articles on Indiana political parties, the 1964 presidential election in the Southwest and the Bill of Rights.
Active in the Indiana Academy of Social Science, Roberts has been editor of its "Proceedings" since 1982. The academy's George C. Roberts Scholarship Award was established in his honor. Roberts also serves as a member of the Center for the Study of the Presidency.
The Sagamore of the Wabash award, created during the term of Gov. Ralph Gates during the 1940s, is the highest award that can be bestowed by the governor of Indiana. It is a personal tribute given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state. Among those who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, Presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians and ordinary citizens.