Evan Bayh (BS '78, LLD '96)
Academy of Alumni Fellows 1994
U.S. Senator Evan Bayh is dedicated to bringing common sense Hoosier Values to our nation's capital. Elected to his first term in November, 1998, Senator Bayh brought with him a remarkable record of sound fiscal management and economic growth from his two-terms as governor of Indiana (1989-1997). He has established himself as a leading mainstream voice in the Senate by working to put aside partisan differences and make real progress on a wide range of issues of importance to Americans.
Bayh's common sense approach is a hallmark of his work in the U.S. Senate. 'Evan Bayh is staking out new political turf in Washington - and carving out his identity - by confronting the way things work in the tradition-bound U.S. Senate,' wrote The Indianapolis Star. Bayh's signature legislative efforts seek to raise the performance of our nation's public schools, encourage responsible fatherhood, and provide tax relief for families struggling to afford the rising costs of college, retirement, and the long-term care of a loved one. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette says Bayh's commitment to fiscally responsible tax cuts makes him 'one of the few voices of reason' in Washington.
Bayh serves on six Senate committees: Banking Housing and Urban Affairs, on which he is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on International Trade and Finance; Armed Services; the Select Committee on Intelligence; Energy and Natural Resources; the Special Committee on Aging; and the Small Business Committee.
Bayh is a leader of the New Democrat movement. He serves as Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a national group of Democratic elected officials and community leaders who offer a third-way approach on issues that often fall victim to partisan politics. Bayh is a member of the Senate Centrist Coalition, a group of moderate senators from both parties who meet regularly and work together to find common ground. He helped establish the New Democrat Coalition, a new and growing group of senators who are committed to sensible bipartisan progress. Bayh also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy, a non-partisan group that works to promote and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide.
Before his election to the Senate, Bayh served two terms as Governor of Indiana, where he established the state as one of the strongest, most financially secure economies in the nation. 'Mr. Bayh's record,' reported The Wall Street Journal in 1992, 'is one of a genuinely fiscally conservative Democrat.' Stressing fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, job creation and lean government, then-Governor Bayh's list of achievements are remarkable: eight years without raising taxes; the greatest single tax cut; the largest budget surplus in state history; national leadership in moving people from welfare to work; more dollars for schools every year; high academic standards and new college opportunities; over 375,000 new jobs; tougher laws; and improved environmental quality.
Bayh was born in Shirkieville, Indiana. He graduated with honors in business economics from Indiana University in 1978, and received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1981. After clerking for a federal court judge and entering private law practice in Indianapolis, he was elected Indiana's Secretary of State in 1986.
Senator Bayh counts as his most important role and greatest responsibility a position he assumed in November 1995: proud father of twin sons Beau and Nicholas - a joy he shares daily with his wife, Susan.