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Ivy Tech celebrates graduates on Friday


May 11, 2009

Bloomington, Ind.Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus commencement ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 15 at the Indiana University Auditorium. Approximately 477 students are completing their educations at Ivy Tech by earning associate degrees, technical certificates, and certificates. The number of students graduating with honors is 36 percent, with 15 of those students earning Summa Cum Laude honors for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

Chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus, John Whikehart says the commencement ceremony is a significant event for the college and the community. “This is the culminating event for our students, and Ivy Tech takes great pride in recognizing them for their commitment to education, and for reaching their goals,” he said.

Additionally, Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus will award an honorary degree to Joyce Poling, former Monroe County Government Commissioner, for her work in civic engagement. “Joyce has performed outstanding public service for our community, and it is my pleasure to present her with an honorary degree for her work in local civic engagement,” Chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus, John Whikehart said. “She turned the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences from an idea into a reality, and the facility would not have been possible without her.” The Indiana Center for the Life Sciences trains and educates workers and students for jobs in the life sciences, a growing workforce demand in the Bloomington area. The Center is located on Ivy Tech’s main campus on the west side of Bloomington at 501 N. Profile Parkway.

Some of the graduates who will be celebrated during Friday’s ceremony include international students, a husband and wife, sisters, midlife career changers, and workers who were laid off from local manufacturing facilities.

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus will graduate its first16 students from the Respiratory Care program and its first four from the Elementary Education program. A total of 79 Associate of Science in Nursing degrees will be awarded, and those nurses will be pinned during the commencement ceremony.

President of Ivy Tech Community College, Thomas J. Snyder, will deliver the “charge to the class,” presenting degrees and certificates to graduates, and will participate in the nurse pinning ceremony. Other community participants include Lee Marchant, Vice Chair of the State Board of Trustees, Connie Ferguson, Chair of the Regional Board of Trustees and Pastor Anthony Thompson, Lighthouse Community Church.

The 2009 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year recipient, Tonya Thurman, will be recognized during Friday’s ceremony. Thurman earned an AAS degree with honors in Administrative Office Technology and earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan, where she graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors. Thurman is employed at Cook Inc. in Regulatory Affairs.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 120,000 students enrolled annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana.  It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.  It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.