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Boys State coming to Trine
Historic education program moves to Angola in June
A landmark American Legion education program will move to Trine University in June.
Hoosier Boys State will move to the private Angola, Ind. university after 39 years at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. Delegates to Hoosier Boys State at Trine University will learn about the organization and function of political activities in a two-party election system during a weeklong stay at the university June 13-20.
The American Legion founded the Indiana program in 1937 to offer high school junior boys a hands-on experience in state and local politics and government.
The move to Trine provides greater safety and comfort for Hoosier Boys State delegates, said Steven Bowman, Hoosier Boys State associate director. “The facilities and campus are newer, and the smaller area will provide a safer perimeter for students,” he said. “Our activities will center around the student apartments, academic buildings, Whitney Commons, Hershey Hall, and the football field area.”
The relocation will also recognize the needs of northern Indiana students with an interest in the program. “This will generate interest in the northern counties,” Bowman said. “We have heard from folks up there who want to participate, but were discouraged by the distance.”
Around 600 delegates typically attend Hoosier Boys State. Delegates are recommended to local American Legion posts by high school officials. Often post leaders interview candidates and select delegates for the paid experience in Indiana government.
The impact of Hoosier Boys State is hard to downplay, given the list of legislative stand-outs who attended, Bowman said. Gov. Mitch Daniels, former Gov. Frank O’Bannon, Senator Richard Lugar and former Senator Birch Bayh number among them. “It’s far-reaching,” Bowman said. “When you talk to delegates 20 years later, they still speak of the network of friends they formed through Hoosier Boys State.”
“We welcome this opportunity to host dynamic young men with an interest in becoming state and national government leaders,” said Trine University President Dr. Earl D. Brooks II. “Hoosier Boys State presents another way for Trine University to provide students with a professionally focused learning experience which prepares them to succeed, learn, and serve.”