By Rachel Terlep
NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Dr. Gerald Ruth, professor of geosciences, received the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor awarded by the governor of Indiana, for his service to the state.
State Rep. Ed Clere, who had nominated Ruth for the award, presented him with a certificate during IU Southeast’s 75th Anniversary celebration on Dec. 4. Ruth retired from teaching in December after 50 years at IU Southeast.
“He opened up the campus to the broader community,” Clere said of Ruth. “He had so many times when folks have been invited here to learn something about the stars and the planets, or maybe to view something for the first time or the only time in their life.”
According to the award’s description on IN.gov, the term “sagamore” was used by the Native American tribes of the northeastern U.S. to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice.
“I am both humbled and elated about receiving Indiana’s Sagamore of the Wabash Award,” Ruth said. “I have always tried to do my best and feel grateful that others have appreciated my efforts and expressed it in this unique way.”