She’s not only a legend but, thankfully for her, a living legend. Renowned gospel singer and Anderson resident Sandi Patty was honored Friday as an Indiana Living Legend by the Indiana Historical Society. “It’s a great honor to be included on that amazing list,” she said. “I’m just thankful they used the word living,” she laughed.
AU alums Bill and Gloria Gaither, who were honored in 2006, accompanied Patty, and Gloria Gaither gave Patty the award.
“It was a classy night,” said Patty.
Patty, originally from California, arrived here in 1974 to attend Anderson University. “I never dreamed 30 years ago that I’d still be here,” she said. “ But I love Indiana. It’s home for many reasons.”
Linda Pratt, vice president of development and membership at the Indiana Historical Society, said the names of this year’s recipients were decided upon last October. Patty said she heard about the honor earlier this year when Bill Gaither called her and said she’d be receiving a call. “You need to say yes,” she recalled him saying.
“There are 110 nominations each year and we choose four,” said Pratt. She said there were three criteria for the honor.
- The person has a national, if not international, effect or influence.
- Recipients have to be from Indiana or have lived there a good part of their life.
- Humanitarian and professional endeavors.
There have been 61 Living Legends chosen. One other Madison County recipient and Anderson University alum is Carl Erskine, chosen in 1999.
Pratt said a community committee is formed to choose the honorees. The committee is made up of leaders, such as from business and academic fields, and come from all over the state.
Other honorees this year included Randall Tobias, former CEO of Eli Lilly and Co., Tony George, CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, musician.
“I’m very blessed to be involved with that list of people,” said Patty.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.