Ardath Yates Burkhart
||Ardath Yates Burkhart Birth: 2 Sep 1905 - Vincennes Indiana Death: 8 Dec 1983 - Indianapolis, Marion,
Indiana Burial: 9 Dec 1983 Washington Park North Cemetery Indianapolis Marion County Indiana daughter of
Bert Yates & Fava Tolbert married 1929
John W. Burkhart |
The Burkharts had two children, John W. Burkhart III (deceased) and Gay
Burkhart Brown. They have five grandsons and one granddaughter ( October 20, 1974)
Mrs. Burkhart became active in Girl Scouts in 1945 and was a leader for 10 years. In 1954 she escorted
a Senior Troop to Europe for nine weeks.
Burkhart, Ardath ( 1970-1984 ) Indianapolis, Vincennes. Supporter of public television.
... Ardath Burkhart served the chairmanship for three years of the State Student Assistant
Commission (1965-1985) during the 1970's.
During the 1960s, the late Ardath Y. Burkhart organized a "door-to-door" campaign in order to
raise the funds necessary to launch an educational public television station in the Indianapolis
market; brought public television to Central Indiana by going door-to-door to
raise $350,000 in a matter of weeks. The thousands of Central Indiana women, who heeded Ardath's
call, affectionately became known as members of "Ardath's Army."
Ardath Y. Burkhart and a group of women known as "Ardath's Army" launched public
broadcasting in Indianapolis on October 4, 1970. Their volunteer efforts helped sustain WFYI's
operations in its formative years. The Ardath Y. Burkhart award is given annually to the
volunteer who demonstrates leadership, dedication, service, and outstanding commitment to public
Ardath Yates Burkhart received Old Gold Goblet in 1972 from DePauw University, she was the first woman
From The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 202 October 20, 1974
In HER TRIP up the civic leader ladder, Mrs. Burkhart served on just about every board and committee
in town. Community Chest 1951-54 and chairman of its Woman's Division in 1950, 1951 and 1956.
United Fund board since it was organized in 1957. League of Women Voters, Health and Welfare
Council, Masquers of Civic Theatre. "500" Festival Associates Inc., Indiana Symphony Society ito name
just a few). Other governmental positions she held besides school board (which is the "most time
consuming, thankless, onerous job in the world") were Charity Solicitation Commission (she was
its chairman 10 years), Metropolitan Planning Commission, and secretary of the Indianapolis
To show she has no intention of slowing down. Mrs. Burkhart currently is on the board of 18
organizations and is a trustee of DePauw University, Winona Hospital ( she's also on its professional
standards committee and chairman of its long range planning committee) and Porter College.
Aside from her devotion to public TV, Mrs. Burkhart says her other top interest is as chairman of
the board of governors of Associated Colleges of Indiana. "Indiana has done very well at keeping its
independent schools in the black," she says. But even more could be done if scholarship students
had a free choice in selecting their own school. Give each youngster his money and let him go
anywhere he wants, she insists.
And does she feel every woman should become as involved as she has? "How the husband feels is
most important," she declares. John has encouraged me and been very supportive.
I disapprove of married women doing civic activity if it interferes with evening life with their husband.
"I tell the girls I work with you do your thing in the daytime but don't so much as make a phone call
at night regarding your daytime activities."
Mrs. Burkhart doesn't consider herself especially influential. "When I get these awards, I never feel I'm
worthy," she says.
"I know-nothing is ever done alone. I've had a lot of help doing things most fantastic co-operation. It's a
most humbling experience."
"I have always felt that what a woman wants to do she can it's as simple as that. Maybe I feel that way
because I've worked all mv life."
"As soon as we can afford to get portable equipment, we want to cover more live meetings." While most
public television across the United States is supported by tax levy or universities, Channel 20 is financed by
the community. Renewal memberships and an annual auction are the station's sources of income. "I have
always been a believer in local level support for such projects," says the dynamic woman who has been an
Indianapolis civic leader since soon after World War II.
But she confesses right now the station could use some state money for equipment. "We had a bill in the
legislature but it was turned down in the last session," she says.
There now are five public TV stations in Indiana. Mrs. Burkhart says at least one more is needed in the
Northern part of the state. "Channel 20 is one of my major interests right now," she says. "We're getting
a new tower which will have at least a 60-mile beam. We'd like 75 but, of course, some people will be able
to get it 75 miles or more away."
Ardath Yates Burkhart, a 1927 graduate of DePauw University. The next eight years she taught art and music.
and was a member of the University's Board of Trustees in 1976
Ardath Burkhart spearheaded the effort to renovate East College preserve the building which, at age 107,
is DePauw University's and the Midwest's oldest educational building still in use; and which is on the National
Register of Historic Places, which was completed in 1982.
1983 Ardath Y. Burkhart, Indianapolis Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Fundraising
Professionals-Indiana Chapter Philanthropy Awards