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Niki Kelly | The Journal Gazette
Scene from this morning's ceremony.

Rolland receives Indiana's highest honor

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mitch Daniels on Wednesday honored Fort Wayne businessman and community leader Ian Rolland as "one exciting actuary" and a person with virtue and moral excellence during a Statehouse ceremony.

"He has constantly searched for the right thing to do and then done it," the governor said.

Rolland received the state's highest honor – the 2012 Sachem – at an event attended by family, friends and dozens of Fort Wayne citizens cheering him on.

"All of us have the responsibility to leave the places that we live in a better way because we were there," he said. "It's the responsibility of citizenship."

Rolland talked of his time running Lincoln National Corp. as well as his service to groups such as the Nature Conservancy, Junior Achievement and the University of Saint Francis.

"Hopefully we've still got some time to do some more good," he said.

The Sachem is given annually to recognize a lifetime of excellence and moral virtue that has brought credit and honor to Indiana. Previous recipients include college basketball coaching legend John Wooden, philanthropist Bill Cook and the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame.

Rolland, a Fort Wayne native, began his career at Lincoln National Life in 1956; rose to president and a director of Lincoln National Corp. in 1975 and was named CEO two years later. In 1992, he was named chairman and CEO, retiring in 1998.

He has stayed active in the community, sitting on the boards of more than a dozen non-profits and charities.