Indianapolis mayoral candidates square off at UIndy


Republican incumbent Greg Ballard and Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy took the stage at UIndy for the only televised prime-time debate of the 2011 Indianapolis mayoral race. The debate occurred only a few months after the Five Mayors event at UIndy that brought the city’s former officeholders to campus to consider both its history and its challenges.

The October 15 event was sponsored by the Indianapolis Star, the Indianapolis Recorder, and WTHR-Channel 13, which broadcast from the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. The live audience included elected officials, community leaders, journ-alists, and the general public. Mayor Ballard was re-elected a few weeks later. The debate served as a preview of the kinds of events expected when the University’s Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives is established. The Institute was announced in March 2011, when UIndy hosted “Five Mayors: An Evening of Insight & Vision” with the city’s current and former chief executives.

Civic leaders join effort

A $7.5-million campaign in support of the Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives was announced last summer. The campaign is led by committee members David Frick, chair, and Michael O’Connor, Ersal Ozdemir, Gene E. Sease, Anne Shane, and Yvonne Shaheen. The Institute is planned as a hub for research, teaching, and community conversation. The archives will enable scholars and urban planners to study the issues cities confront—e.g., urban revitalization, population shifts, education, crime—informed by Indianapolis’s experience with unified county government and development of a vital city core.

The mayoral archives, including papers and other items from mayors Richard Lugar, William Hudnut, Stephen Goldsmith, and Bart Peterson, reflect a significant era in the city’s history, beginning with Unigov and including such milestones as White River State Park, Circle Centre Mall, and the arrival of an NFL football team, among many other developments. Campaign priorities include an endowed directorship; a visiting scholar endowment; symposium endowment; archival space, cataloging, digitization, and preservation of records and artifacts; and a civic leadership commons.