Huntington University President G. Blair Dowden was recognized Friday with one of Indiana’s top honors, the Sagamore of the Wabash.
Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels selected Dowden for the award because of his contributions to education over his 22 years as president of Huntington. Dowden will retire at the end of the school year.
The award, which comes from the term “sagamore” used by American Indian tribes of the northeastern United States, is the highest honor the governor can bestow and is given to a person who has rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor.
The Sagamore of the Wabash award was created during the term of Gov. Ralph Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949.
Dowden came to Huntington in 1991 as the university’s 12th president. During his 22 years of service, the university has doubled its enrollment, tripled its endowment and expanded its academic programs, including plans for branch campuses in Fort Wayne and Peoria, Ariz., according to the university.