May 3, 1969.
On this day, Larry A. Conrad spoke at the awards dinner of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. The dinner occurred at the Speedway Motel on West 16th Street. Conrad spoke on proposals then before the United States Senate to modify or eliminate the Electoral College. At the time, Conrad was chief counsel to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. Therefore, he was well positioned to opine on the topic.
Conrad was then well known as a rising star in Indiana politics. Born in small-town Indiana in 1935, he graduated first from Ball State University in 1957 and then the IU School of Law-Indianapolis in 1961. He managed Birch Bayh's successful run for the U.S. Senate in 1962, for which a grateful Bayh appointed him first a legislative aide and later chief counsel for the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments that Bayh chaired. Together, Bayh and Conrad crafted and steered passage of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, specifying what must happen when a president can no longer serve for whatever reason.
In 1969, Conrad moved back to Indiana and ran successfully for Indiana Secretary of State, serving two terms. In 1976 he ran for governor and lost against incumbent Otis R. "Doc" Bowen, a graduate of the IU School of Medicine. Conrad entered private legal practice in Indianapolis and died in 1990.
During the awards dinner, the School of Law honored graduate Edgar D. Whitcomb, then governor of Indiana, as the distinguished alumnus award winner. The school also honored faculty and students for outstanding achievements. Other speakers on the program were IUPUI chancellor Maynard K. Hine and School of Law dean Cleon H. Foust.
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives is fortunate to have the Larry Allyn Conrad Papers, which are available for research.
Fifty years after Conrad's speech, talk about eliminating the Electoral College is again in the news.
The IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law of IUPUI has many distinguished alumni and alumnae. To learn more about one of them, please contact Archives staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.