In 1957, newly married to Frank O’Bannon, Indiana native Mrs. Judy O’Bannon enrolled at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary on a Rockefeller Theological Scholarship, which gave individuals the opportunity to attend one year of seminary and explore the possibility of a call to ministry. She was the first woman student enrolled at the Seminary. It’s been 45 years since her theological studies, and her reputation as “first-woman-theological-student” has long since faded into “first lady of Indiana” as she has worked alongside her spouse, now Governor of Indiana.
In the midst of its 150th academic year, a year when the student body happens to contain slightly more women than men, Judy O’Bannon will help to dedicate the spring semester by delivering the Convocation address, entitled Tending the Flock in a High-Tech World.
This annual event, which is open to the public, will be held on February 13, 2003, at 10 a.m. in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel at Louisville Seminary.
Judy has spent her life working in behalf of Indiana’s state and local communities with the vision of “Communities Building Community.” Her efforts have included leading a delegation for People to People Ambassador programs to Russia in 1999 and to South Africa in 2001, where she consulted with other leaders who were initiating not-for-profit organizations, volunteer centers, public-private opportunities, and other community-building efforts.
As Indiana’s first lady, she chairs the Indiana 2016 Task Force, encouraging all Hoosiers to set long-term goals for their communities in observance of the state’s bicentennial. With her husband, she leads the O’Bannon Book Buddy initiative, enlisting adults to help children learn to read. She served as honorary co-chair of Habitat for Humanity International’s 25th Anniversary celebration in 2000 and participates in building efforts throughout Indiana. In addition, she hosts the annual “Day of the Arts at the Governor’s Residence,” which provides visual and performing arts activities to increase learning ability and enhance quality of life for more than 400 special needs children.
Judy graduated from Indiana University
with a bachelor’s degree in social work before enrolling in theological studies. She has been recognized for her achievements in behalf of Indiana with honorary degrees from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the University of Southern Indiana and Vincennes University.
For more information about Judy O’Bannon, please contact Aja May
in the Office of the First Lady. For more information about the Convocation event, please contact the Office of Communications
at 502.895.3411, ext. 460.
Louisville Seminary is at 1044 Alta Vista Road in Louisville, Kentucky.