Community recognized for spearheading new Ivy Tech campus
FRENCH LICK, Ind. – The City of Logansport and Cass County were among those honored with the Ivy Tech Foundation Benefactor of the Year Award during an awards dinner at the West Baden Springs Resort. The dinner, where winners from each of the College’s 14 regions were recognized, was part of the Ivy Tech Foundation board of directors’ annual meeting held this month in French Lick.
“During the past year, Ivy Tech Community College has continued to serve as a model for innovation in higher education,” said John Murphy, president of the Ivy Tech Foundation. “Among the greatest contributors to this success are the benefactors who provide us with much needed funding and advocacy. Our 2014 benefactors of the year have demonstrated that in all of the communities we serve there are generous individuals who have wholeheartedly embraced Ivy Tech’s mission. Without them, our work would simply not be possible.”
The Kokomo Region award nominees were recognized for their contributions to the creation of the community’s new Ivy Tech campus, which was opened at 1 Ivy Tech Way in Logansport in 2010.
In the nomination, Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of the Ivy Tech Foundation for the Kokomo Region, said the Logansport/Cass County leadership deserved to be honored as visionaries. “The word ‘visionary’ truly describes the leadership of the City of Logansport and Cass County,” Karickhoff said. “In 2004, the leaders of these two governmental units had a vision – the creation of an Ivy Tech campus prominently located in the Hoosier Heartland Corridor at the edge of Logansport to elevate the role of higher education in their community.”
She outlined their progress. “They identified the desired location and County Councilman Joe Reed worked with the landowners to secure the prime real estate through a property donation to the College valued at $600,000,” she noted. “Both the city and the county then stepped up with funding to demonstrate their support for a new Logansport Campus by giving $250,000 each to Ivy Tech Foundation – all before the concept of a new campus had even received approval from Ivy Tech.”
In 2005, the city and county leaders rallied community support through a letter-writing campaign to make the case for a new campus to Ivy Tech State Trustees a2014-10-16 Benefactor of Year_Ivy Tech Kokomo Regionnd the Indiana General Assembly. Additionally, Karickhoff said, these locally elected officials, along with many community leaders, traveled to the Indiana Statehouse to show their support and voice the need for a new Ivy Tech campus in Logansport. Then, to buttress their case, the City of Logansport provided $2.7 million of infrastructure, preparing the site with the needed streets and utility access.
“Thanks to all these efforts, the Indiana General Assembly approved the funding for the nearly $20 million project and in 2008, ground was broken for a beautiful new 81,000-square-foot facility to replace the existing instructional site housed in a former grocery store in an aging strip mall,” she said. “And before the building even opened, the City of Logansport gave Ivy Tech another $110,000 to create three endowed scholarships. These scholarships are available for students attaining an associate degree or a technical certificate. The third scholarship may be awarded to students with a GED.”
Kevin Bostic, president of the Logansport Campus, continued, “Thanks to the foresight and vision of the City of Logansport and Cass County officials, the new Ivy Tech campus stands as a symbol demonstrating the community’s commitment to raising educational attainment in the Region.” The effort has been rewarded with success, he noted, adding, “In the campus’ first three years, Ivy Tech enrollment in Logansport more than doubled, exceeding the five-year projection made when the doors opened in 2010.”
On hand for the recognition ceremony were Joe Reed, former Cass County commissioner; Mike Fincher, former mayor of Logansport; Chris Armstrong, representing the city and a 2012 recipient of the Ivy Tech Distinguished Alumni Award; Jean Cole, Ivy Tech Kokomo Region trustee and a previous recipient of the Benefactor of the Year Award; and Bostic. Other Kokomo Region participants were Kokomo Region Chancellor Steve Daily; Tom Trauring, Ivy Tech Foundation director; Don Thomas, Ivy Tech Foundation director emeritus; and Kelly Karickhoff and Miriam Thomas of the region’s Resource Development office.