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Ivy Tech Community College
Contact: Amanda J. Billings

Phone: (812) 330-6222

E-mail: abillings7@ivytech.edu




March 7, 2005      

Former United States Senator Birch Bayh will be the featured guest of the 2005 O’Bannon Institute for Community Service at Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington. The second annual event, which this year will be held over two days, will take place on April 28th and April 29th and will include a series of panel discussions, a fundraiser for Ivy Tech’s Center for Civic Engagement, and an event to bring students in contact with local non-profit organizations that are in need of volunteers.

The O’Bannon Institute was launched in 2004 in an effort by Ivy Tech – Bloomington to bring the community together with leaders from the non-profit, higher education, and political arenas to discuss issues related to public service and to encourage students to become active in their communities. The Institute is part of Ivy Tech –Bloomington’s broader initiative to create a Center for Civic Engagement that will be focused on service learning, volunteerism, and institutional community involvement.

Former Senator Bayh will participate in the annual “O’Bannon Conversation”, a one-on-one interview about his life and his experience in community service. The theme for the 2005 Institute is “Engage. Serve. Lead: Leadership in an Involved Community” and Senator Bayh will focus his comments on this theme. Bayh represented Indiana in the United States Senate from 1963 to 1981 and his Senate career was distinguished by his expertise in Constitutional law. Bayh authored two amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the 25th Amendment on Presidential succession and the 26th Amendment that lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 years of age. Senator Bayh ran unsuccessfully for the 1976 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. He is currently a partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Venable L.L.P. and has been involved in the lobbying effort for the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center (see biography on the official O'Bannon site).

Senator Bayh expressed his enthusiasm about the upcoming event. "I am honored that Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington has asked me to serve as a guest speaker at the second annual O'Bannon Institute for Community Service. This event is an opportunity for Hoosiers from South Central Indiana to learn more about effective leadership through a commitment to civic engagement. I look forward to returning to Bloomington to participate."

John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington, says that Senator Bayh’s experiences and his life story are important for students and the community to hear. “Senator Bayh began his career in public service at the age of 26, and he and his family have been leaders in transforming our state and our nation. The O’Bannon Institute was created to foster involvement by young people and the community in noble pursuits such as community and government service, and I can think of no better model of involvement than Birch Bayh. We are thrilled that he has agreed to join us for our second annual O’Bannon Institute.”

In addition to the day of panels and discussions featured at the 2004 O’Bannon Institute, Ivy Tech has added a day of events to the 2005 agenda. Thursday morning activities for Ivy Tech students will focus on service learning and successes to date in the integration of service learning into the Ivy Tech curriculum. At noon on Thursday, an event called Community Connections will be held in the Ivy Tech Student Commons to bring together non-profits, students and the community to match organization needs with those interested in volunteering. On Thursday evening, Ivy Tech will host a fundraiser at the Bloomington Convention Center to raise funds for the support of its Center for Civic Engagement. The Friday agenda will include panel discussions on topics related to community service in non-profits, higher education, and politics and will culminate in the conversation with former Senator Bayh on Friday afternoon. More details on the fundraiser, as well as the announcement of the panels and panelists for the 2005 event, will be released in the coming weeks.

Those interested in attending the O’Bannon Institute should contact Anne Cady (acady@ivytech.edu) at 812-330-6001 or toll free at 1-866-447-0700 ext. 6001 to make a reservation. Except for the fundraiser, the event is free and open to the public.