King receives Sagamore of the Wabash

May 6th, 2016 | SMWC

King receives Sagamore of the Wabash
(L to R) SMWC Board Member Greg Gibson, Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb, SMWC President Dottie King, Ph.D., SMWC Board Chair Randy Adams, SMWC Board Member Pat Ralston and Indiana Senator Jon Ford

Dottie King, Ph.D., president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) can now add a new honor to the list of her accolades – Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest civilian distinction in Indiana. During the SMWC’s board of trustee meeting on May 6, 2016, Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb and Indiana Senator Jon Ford surprised King with the award on behalf of Governor Mike Pence.

Board member Greg Gibson introduced Holcomb to the group of 26 trustees and recognized current board member Pat Ralston for initiating the nomination process.

King was nominated for Indiana’s highest honors for her leadership and strategic vision for the College providing many transformative opportunities to grow and remain a vibrant institution. 

“Thank you for not only all you have done but for what you continue to do here on the campus,” said Holcomb. “She (King) is literally leading young women’s and men’s lives and that makes a difference in the life of our state. And beyond the campus, her involvement in the community and in her church should also be recognized.”

Holcomb added, “It is not just one person that gets the job done but it is multiple people who come together and collaborate, and President King is the master at that. What a special time for Governor Pence and I to be a part of this day.”

Chair of the SMWC Board of Trustees, Randy Adams said the award is a great honor for King and for the College. “Over the years, I continue to refer to her as a transformational leader. I believe the Sagamore award is consistent with the transformational leadership she brings to the College.”

King said she was grateful and humbled by the unexpected honor. “There are so many people with whom I work that this award is more about we than me.”

According to the state's history of the award, Native American tribes used the term “sagamore” to describe "a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice."

The award was created during the term of Gov. Ralph Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949. Each subsequent governor has issued the awards on their own terms.

About King

King serves as the 16th president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

During her tenure:

  • The College expanded academic offerings. Highlights include restructuring the undergraduate core curriculum, nursing and online RN to BSN programs, Master of Healthcare Administration, adding new majors including criminology, environmental science and healthcare administration.
  • King led SMWC through an $11 million capital campaign to build a sports and recreation center.
  • The College opened its doors to women and men in all of its programs including the traditional campus-based program.
  • The College enjoys consistent recognition listed among the Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest and among the Best Online Undergraduate Programs both by U.S. News & World Report.

Since 2002, King held many leadership positions at the College including an associate professor of mathematics, chair of the sciences and mathematics department, assistant dean and vice president for academic affairs. She was a recipient of the College’s highest teaching honor, the Sister Mary Joseph Pomeroy Award for Faculty Excellence for teaching and another for service.

King holds her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction/educational leadership from Indiana State University.

View Award Presentation Photos