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Ivy Tech Community College
Contact: Amanda J. Billings

Phone: (812) 330-6222

E-mail: abillings7@ivytech.edu


March 10, 2004

Ivy Tech Community College -Bloomington Announces Launch of the O'Bannon Institute

BLOOMINGTON, IN. Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington announces the launch of the O'Bannon Institute for Community Service. The Institute is named for the late Indiana Governor Frank O¹Bannon and honors his legacy and commitment to the community college system and civic engagement.

The O¹Bannon Institute, which will become an annual event, is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 30, 2004. It will feature top political, nonprofit and educational panelists from across the region. Judy O'Bannon, former first lady of the State of Indiana, will make the keynote presentation. The event will be held on the Ivy Tech campus, 200 Daniels Way, in Bloomington.

The Institute is the first of its kind in Indiana to feature an emphasis on nonprofit management, political participation and higher education. It will provide leading information and insights for community leaders, students, nonprofit managers and volunteers, and the general public.

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan says this major initiative is important to the community.

"Ivy Tech-Bloomington is one the fastest growing campuses in the state, and with initiatives like the O'Bannon Institute, the college continues to provide leading information, education and opportunities to the community as a whole," Kruzan says. "As someone who has spent his life in public service, I firmly believe this event will encourage the most positive kind of community participation."

The Institute is part of Ivy Tech's plan for a "Center for Civic Engagement," a center that will carry forward the mission of the Institute. The College is still in the developmental stages for the Center and will unveil plans for it later in the year.

Judy O'Bannon is looking forward to the opportunity to impress the importance of politics and community outreach upon Institute attendees.

"Community involvement is one of the strengths of Indiana, and it certainly shaped Frank's life and work," O'Bannon says. "I can think of no more fitting way to honor his firm commitment to the community college system and public service."

John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, says that Ivy Tech is in the midst of an exciting institutional transformation to a truly comprehensive community college, and that the Institute aids in guiding this transition.

"To accomplish that mission, we are committed as a regional campus to integrating community service in both the teaching curriculum we develop for our students and in our professional behavior as a faculty and staff," Whikehart says.

"We believe that, just as important as current regional goals, our focus on the needs of individual learners, our continued responsiveness to the workforce development training issues facing area employers, and our efforts in cooperation with our local high schools and university partner to create and sustain seamless educational opportunities for our students, we have a duty to model a commitment to community service in our educational environment."

In addition to Judy O'Bannon, Mark Kruzan and John Whikehart, featured participants for the April 30th O'Bannon Institute include Senator Robert Garton, John Fernandez, Barry Lessow, Joyce Poling, Helen Ingersoll, Claire King and many other panelists from across the region.

For more information, please contact Maria Heslin at 812-332-3329.