From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Hardin, Boniface

(born: 1933  -  died: 2012) 

Born in Louisville, KY, Boniface Hardin grew up in Bardstown, KY, and Indianapolis, IN. He became a Benedictine monk in 1953.

Hardin established Martin College in 1977 [now Martin University] to educate low income minority adults. The school, which has existed for more than 30 years, started with just two students; today Martin University has about 1,600 students. The school is the only predominately Black university in Indiana.

Hardin had also been an outspoken advocate for civil rights. In 2002, Hardin, who spoke 16 languages, was named International Citizen of the Year by the International Center of Indianapolis.

For more see the 1983 Boniface Hardin interview in the People of Indianapolis collection at the Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory; B. Harris, "Award honors global vision - International Center to recognize founder and longtime leader of Martin University," The Indianapolis Star, 11/14/2002, City State; Biography section, p. B03; "Boniface Hardin Takes Up a Collection" at the Indiana History website; "Fr. Boniface Hardin, OSB (obituary) at the Saint Meinrad Alumni website; and Chism, Nancy Van Note, Pickin' cotton on the way to church: the life and work of Father Boniface Hardin, OSB, Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press [2019]. See also New IHS Press Book Shares Never-Before-Told Life Story of Martin University Founder Father Boniface Hardin, the announcement of the book at the website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Nelson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Bardstown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Indianapolis star (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hardin, Boniface,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 21, 2022,

Last modified: 2021-05-06 20:50:16