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Bourke Patton
Indiana National Resources Foundation

Last modified: Thursday, August 27, 2009

IU professors, former trustee among first class of Indiana Conservation Hall of Fame

Aug. 27, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two longtime Indiana University faculty members and a former IU trustee are part of the charter class of the Indiana Conservation Hall of Fame, a group that also includes a U.S. president, a popular author and the father of the Indiana state park system.

The Indiana Natural Resources Foundation announced the class this week. It includes:

  • Lynton Keith Caldwell (1913-2006), a founding professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Reynold "Rey" Carlson (1901-97), former chair of the Department of Recreation and Park Administration in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation
  • Bloomington residents Bill and Gayle Cook, industrialists and philanthropists who played major roles in the restoration of West Baden Springs and French Lick Springs hotels. Bill Cook was an IU trustee from 1995-98.
Lynton Keith Caldwell

Lynton Keith Caldwell

Print-Quality Photo

"These inspired and passionate people worked to conserve our wild and historic places," said Bourke Patton, executive director of the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. "We are excited to honor their contributions in a way that will inspire us all to work harder to protect our irreplaceable treasures."

The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals, living or deceased, who have made extraordinary contributions to the conservation and preservation of natural, cultural and historical heritage. The inaugural class includes:

Rey Carlson

Rey Carlson

Caldwell, a political scientist, helped write the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and was credited with the act's signature feature, the requirement that significant federal projects include an environmental impact study. The author of 10 books and more than 200 scholarly articles, he served on the panel that planned SPEA in the early 1970s.

Carlson supervised the development of IU's curriculum in outdoor recreation education and the establishment of the Bradford Woods outdoor education center. A former teacher, coach, park ranger and YMCA director, he was an IU faculty member from 1947 until his retirement in 1972.

Bill and Gayle Cook established Cook Inc. in 1963, building wire guides, needles and catheters in a spare bedroom of their Bloomington apartment. Today, Cook Group Inc. is among the world's best-known and most respected names in medical devices and supplies. The Cooks have invested generously in historic preservation projects.

Other members of the Conservation Hall of Fame charter class include:

  • Leila (Lee) Botts, founder of the Indiana Dunes Environmental Center
  • Charles C. Deam (1865-1953), Indiana's first state forester
  • Tom (1923-2004) and Jane Dustin (1929-2003), advocates for the Clean Water Act and wilderness protection
  • The Efroymsons, an Indianapolis family who over four generations provided support for conservation
  • President Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901), who established 17 forest reserves totaling 13 million acres and laid the foundation for the national forest system
  • Marion Jackson, author and professor emeritus of ecology at Indiana State University
  • Richard Lieber (1869-1944), who established Indiana's state park system and was the first director of the Department of Conservation, predecessor to the Department of Natural Resources
  • Eli Lilly (1885-1977), who founded and endowed the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana
  • Sally Reahard (1908-2003), who preserved thousands of acres through donations to The Nature Conservancy
  • Rev. Damian Schmeltz, who served more than 30 years on the Indiana Natural Resources Commission
  • Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924), Indiana native and author of 12 novels and seven nature books
  • J. Maurice Thompson (1844-1901), co-founder of the National Archery Association

The inductees will be honored during a banquet Sept. 25 at The Garrison at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis. The Natural Resources Foundation and the Indiana Wildlife Federation are co-hosts of the event. See for more information, including ticket prices.