Joe Kernan during his playing days at Notre Dame.

Joe Kernan To Receive 2012 Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award

Jan. 12, 2012


The Notre Dame Monogram Club announced Thursday that the 2012 Edward “Moose” Krause Distinguished Service Award will be presented to former Indiana governor Joe Kernan (’68).

Kernan will receive the award – the highest honor the Monogram Club bestows — at the organization’s annual dinner on Apr. 21 in the Joyce Center.

A two-time monogram winner in baseball, Kernan served as an officer in the United States Navy from 1969-74 before embarking on a political career in 1980. The South Bend native became the lieutenant governor of Indiana in 1996 and was sworn in as governor following the death of Frank O’Bannon in 2003. Kernan served as the 48th governor of the Hoosier State until November 2004.

“In a year that’s seen the University and the Monogram Club develop a strong presence in Washington, D.C., we find it fitting to present the 2012 Moose Krause Award to Joe Kernan, a true America hero,” executive director Beth Hunter said. “His service to our country both on the battlefield and in the political arena is unparalleled, and we look forward to honoring Joe in April for a lifetime of commendable civic achievement.”

Kernan, the oldest of nine children, graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend. He played catcher for the Irish and earned a degree in government in 1968.

In 1969, Kernan entered the U.S. Navy and served as a naval flight officer aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. In May 1972, he was shot down over North Vietnam and was held as a prisoner of war for nearly 11 months. Kernan was repatriated in 1973 and continued on active duty until December 1974. For his service, Kernan received numerous awards, including the Navy Commendation Medal, two Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Kernan was first elected to public office in 1987 when he became mayor of South Bend, after serving as city controller from 1980 to 1984. He went on to be the city’s longest serving mayor, re-elected in 1991 and 1995, when he won with more than 82 percent of the vote. In 1996 O’Bannon asked him to join the statewide ticket as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. The O’Bannon-Kernan ticket won the 1996 election, and was reelected in 2000.

Sworn in as Indiana’s 48th governor upon the death of Governor Frank O’Bannon on September 13, 2003, Joe Kernan provided strong leadership for the state during a tragic and historic transition. While finishing out a term with only 16 months remaining, his selection of Katherine L. Davis as the state’s first female lieutenant governor signaled his determination to continue to move the state forward and his intention to tackle the state’s most pressing needs.

During his term in office, Kernan streamlined business reform, created job training and assessment tools for Hoosier corporations, and provided affordable healthcare and higher education opportunities for Indiana citizens. A veteran himself, Kernan placed a priority on helping those Hoosiers who had served and are serving in the armed forces during his tenure. As lieutenant governor, he started the Veterans Outreach Initiative that included efforts to make Hoosier veterans more aware of benefits available to them and launched the annual Supermarket of Benefits in communities around the state, bringing together organizations that provide services to veterans.

Kernan returned to private life in 2004, where he and a group of investors saved the South Bend Silver Hawks from being moved from South Bend and was the managing member of the Silver Hawks from 2006-2011. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Notre Dame and was asked by Governor Mitch Daniels to serve with Chief Justice Randall Shepherd as co-chairs of the Government Reform Committee to modernize Indiana’s governance structure.

Kernan and his wife, Maggie, were married in 1974 and live in South Bend.


The Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor given by the Notre Dame Monogram Club. It is bestowed upon an active Club member who has achieved notoriety in the following areas:

• Exemplary performance in local, state or national government

• Outstanding dedication to the spirit and ideals of Notre Dame

• Demonstrated responsibility to and concern for their respective communities

• Extraordinary commitment and involvement with youth

The Monogram Club’s officers and board of directors select the annual recipient.

The award is named in honor of Notre Dame athletics legend Edward “Moose” Krause (1913-92), a three-sport monogram winner in the early 1930s who earned All-America honors in football and basketball while also competing in track and field. He later served as an assistant football coach and assistant and head basketball coach at Notre Dame before becoming one of the nation’s most respected athletic directors, serving in that role at his alma mater from 1949-82.

Monogram Club Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award Recipients
1979 – Ray Meyer ’38 (basketball)
1980 – Clarence “Jake” Kline ’21 (baseball)
1981 – Edward “Moose” Krause ’34 (football, basketball)
1982 – Harvey Foster ’39 (football)
1983 – Jim Mello ’48 (football)
1984 – Ziggy Czarobski ’48 (football)
1985 – Rev. John Smyth ’57 (basketball)
1986 – Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. ’39 (honorary member)
1986 – Rev. Edmund P. “Ned” Joyce, C.S.C. ’37 (honorary member)
1987 – Dan Harshman ’68 (football)
1988 – John Jordan ’69 (honorary member)
1989 – Leo Barnhorst ’49 (basketball)
1989 – Bill Hassett ’47 (basketball, baseball)
1990 – Dave Duerson ’83 (football)
1991 – Zeke O’Connor ’49 (football)
1992 – Joseph Signaigo ’48 (football)
1993 – Fritz Wilson ’28 (baseball)
1994 – Dr. Dennis Nigro ’69 (tennis)
1995 – Dick Rosenthal ’54 (basketball, baseball)
1996 – Chris Zorich ’91 (football)
1997 – George Kelly ’53 (honorary member)
1998 – Ara Parseghian (honorary member)
1999 – John Carney ’87 (football)
2000 – Mike Wadsworth ’66 (football)
2000 – Rev. William Beauchamp, C.S.C. ’75 (honorary member)
2001 – Rev. Jim Riehle, C.S.C. ’49 (honorary member)
2002 – Bill Hurd ’69 (track and field)
2003 – Pete Demmerle ’75 (football)
2004 – Jim Morse ’57 (football)
2005 – Rev. Edward A. “Monk” Malloy, C.S.C ’63, ’67 & ’69 (basketball)
2006 – Carol Lally Shields ’79 (basketball)
2007 – Jerome Bettis (football)
2008 – Lou Holtz (honorary member)
2009 – Mike DeCicco ’49 (fencing)
2010 – Dennis Stark ’47 (honorary member)
2011 – Chuck Lennon ’61, ’62 (baseball)
2012 – Joe Kernan ’68 (baseball)