Donation announced at ‘Blue Jean Ball’ fundraiser sponsored by Peru site
PERU, Ind. — A third scholarship fund for students at Ivy Tech Community College has been established by retired Ivy Tech administrator Rita Jackson.
Adding to a scholarship fund established in 2013 to honor her late mother and sister and a second established in 2014 in memory of her grandparents, Jackson presented a check for $10,500 to Ivy Tech Foundation Saturday night to endow a new scholarship fund for students enrolling in the College’s Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP).
The presentation was made at the Milestone Event Center on the Grissom Joint Air Reserve Base during the “Blue Jean Ball,” the 2016 edition of the biennial Fundraiser for Student Success sponsored by Ivy Tech Kokomo Region’s Peru Instructional Site. Including the endowment, about $27,000 was raised at the “Blue Jean Ball.”
The latest memorial scholarship fund is dedicated to Ross and Mary Jackson, Rita Jackson’s paternal grandparents, and Nell Smith, her paternal great aunt.
“I established this scholarship in honor of my father’s family,” Jackson said. “My father passed away in a tragic accident at a very young age and they played a significant role in my upbringing.”
The scholarship will be open to students who are enrolled in the ASAP program, which offers qualified recent high school graduates the opportunity to earn an associate degree in one year instead of following the traditional two-year track.
“I wanted to support the ASAP program because high-achieving students can complete in 11 months a two-year liberal arts degree and then transfer to a four-year university as juniors,” Jackson said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students and their families to save thousands of dollars and get a jump on life.”
Students interested in applying for the ASAP Program should contact Tammy Herschberger at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at 765-252-5487. Applications for the class that will begin in May 2017 are being accepted now.
Nearly 200 people attended the Blue Jean Ball, which included entertainment by Miami County’s own Swampwater Stompers, dinner, and an evening of competitive bidding on an array of unique items and experiences. Proceeds from the event support students at the Peru Instructional Site.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Miami County community, each year Ivy Tech is able to offer more scholarships to support Miami County students pursuing their college education in the Kokomo Region,” David Scheblo, executive director of Ivy Tech’s Peru Instructional Site, said.
Three other named scholarships for Miami County students also were announced. These include:
- First Farmers Bank & Trust, Peru: A $2,000 donation to establish $1,000 annual scholarships for 2017 and 2018 for students who attend Ivy Tech in Peru and who live in Miami, Cass, Fulton or Howard County; demonstrate financial need; and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
- Miami County Economic Development Authority: A $2,000 donation to establish scholarships for Miami County students who are studying industrial technology at Ivy Tech and have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
- Vohne Liche Kennels, Peru: A $2,000 gift to establish an annual scholarship for students for students from Miami County who attend Ivy Tech’s Peru site, show financial need, and have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
Previously, Jackson endowed the Louise Jackson and Karen Jackson-Blue Memorial Scholarship Fund in 2014 as a tribute to the memory of her mother and sister. It is designed to support students pursuing a degree in Liberal Arts or Business Administration. This was followed in 2014 with the endowment of the Grace and Oliver Brunson Memorial Scholarship Fund, in memory of her maternal grandparents. Applicants for this scholarship must be pursuing a degree in nursing.
All three scholarships are earmarked for students from Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami or Tipton counties who are studying at Ivy Tech campuses in the Kokomo Region with preference given to Miami County residents.
In 2015, Jackson was honored as one of 14 statewide winners of the 2014 Benefactor of the Year Award by Ivy Tech Foundation. The award recognizes individual, corporations, and foundations that have significantly impacted Ivy Tech Community College students and communities.
Before her retirement in 2006, Rita Jackson spent 10 years with Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region, serving as a mathematics instructor, mathematics program chair, director of general education, academic dean and executive director of technology. She remains a strong supporter of Ivy Tech, citing its affordability, convenience and scheduling flexibility, especially for working students. Ivy Tech two-year degrees can provide lifelong job skills and/or pathways to four-year colleges, she noted.
Scheblo acknowledged the significance of Jackson’s contributions to the College. “Rita has chosen to honor her family by making these investments in their home community. She is establishing a legacy that will benefit Ivy Tech students for many years to come,” Scheblo said. “We are so grateful to Rita for her strong support of Ivy Tech, its mission and its students.”