A public memorial service for the recently deceased U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh will be held at the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday.
The service, which will start at noon, is open to the public with no required RSVP.
Bayh, 91, died in March after complications from pneumonia, according to Associated Press reports. He served three terms in the Senate from 1963 to 1981 and was elected as Indiana’s youngest Speaker of the House in 1958.
Bayh authored Title IX into the Higher Education Act in 1972, which outlawed gender discrimination in college admissions and athletics.
“It was clear that the greatest danger or damage being done to women was the inequality of higher education,” Bayh said in a 2012 interview. “If you give a person an education, whether it’s a boy or girl, young woman or young man, they will have the tools necessary to make a life for families and themselves.”
Bayh’s legislation helped increase female enrollment at universities. According to Ball State's website, reported nearly two-thirds of its student body being female last semester
According to the U.S. Department of Justice's report "Equal Access to Education: Forty Years of Title IX," 8 percent of women age 19 and older were college graduates in 1970 compared with 14 percent of men despite facing discrimination in college admissions and opportunities.
Bayh described the Title IX law as the most important legal step for equality since the right of women to vote was guaranteed in 1920.
The AP report states, in addition to Title IX, Bayh also authored two constitutional amendments, one of which lowered the voting age to 18. The other amendment outlined a line of succession to the presidency, which was utilized after the resignation of President Nixon.
Bayh is "the only person since the Founding Fathers" to author multiple amendments to the U.S. Constitution, his family said in a statement, according to the report.
Ranking politicians from both sides of the aisle plan to remember Bayh’s life and service to the state and the country, including Gov. Eric Holcomb, State Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, Purdue President and former Gov. Mitch Daniels, Federal District Court Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson, Rep. André Carson and former Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton and Baron Hill.
Bayh’s sons, former U.S. Sen. and Gov. Evan Bayh and Attorney Christopher Bayh, will deliver their father’s eulogy.
Bayh’s wife, Katherine “Kitty” Bayh, will read a poem written by her late husband, who used humorous rhymes to help Hoosiers learn how to pronounce his name while running for the Senate.
The service comes days after Richard Lugar, a U.S. Senator of nearly 40 years who served alongside Bayh, passed away.
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