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Ivy Tech to feature columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Eugene Robinson at O'Bannon Institute


April 22, 2009 

Eugene Robinson

Bloomington, Ind.Ivy Tech’s Bloomington Campus will feature Washington Post columnist and regular contributor to MSNBC, Eugene Robinson during its annual O’Bannon Institute Conversation. One of the world’s most prestigious journalism awards, the coveted Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Robinson for his commentary that chronicled, analyzed and anticipated Barack Obama’s presidential election. The O’Bannon Institute panel discussions begin on Friday, May 1 at 9 a.m. in the Student Commons. Mr. Robinson will capstone the day’s activities with a conversation at 2:30 p.m.

This year’s Institute theme A Historic Presidency: The First 100 Days, includes welcome remarks by former Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon. The Institute also includes panel discussions with notable experts from around the state on the topics of healthcare, foreign policy, and the economy in the first 100 days of the Obama administration. The highlight “O’Bannon Conversation” with Mr. Robinson will close this year’s Institute events.

The three-day O’Bannon Institute for Community Service event begins Wednesday, April 29 with the Civic Engagement Awards Ceremony at Ivy Tech. The “Day of Service,” activities begin Thursday, April 30 with students, faculty and staff volunteering their time to the Bloomington-area community. The O’Bannon Institute Private Reception and Dinner is scheduled for the evening of April 30, with world-renowned historian and New York Times best-selling author Doris Kearns Goodwin, at Indiana Memorial Union Alumni Hall. The fundraising dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., and is sold out. Ivy Tech is currently taking reservations for Friday, May 1 Institute activities featuring Washington Post columnist and regular contributor to MSNBC, Mr. Robinson.

John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus says that this year’s O’Bannon Institute is extraordinary because we are featuring two Pulitzer Prize winning speakers,” “It is an honor to host both Mrs. Goodwin and Mr. Robinson, and to provide the public an opportunity to hear their expert commentary on the first 100 days of this current, historical administration. Both guests have valuable life experiences to share with the community and have exceptional involvement in reporting on culture and White House politics.”

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus ( launched the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service six years ago. It is an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss issues related to government, community service, nonprofit organizations, education, and political participation. Previous speakers have included Sen. George McGovern, Sen. Birch Bayh, Sen. Alan Simpson, Gov. Joe Kernan, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon, news veteran Sam Donaldson and campaign strategist Paul Begala.

To make reservations for Friday, May 1 activities, please call (812) 330-6001 or email For more information about the O’Bannon Institute, visit

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.