Latest Ivy Tech fundraising effort is well worth community support

The Herald-Times
Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:55 am

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus continues to grow, both in size and in stature. The capital campaign launched Tuesday is important to that growth.

The campaign is being called “Here We Grow Again!”

It wasn’t that long ago that Ivy Tech in Bloomington was a wholly different operation. When ground was broken in April 2000 on what is now the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, enrollment at the college was around 2,000. When that groundbreaking was held, Willie Kimmons was the Ivy Tech chancellor and a man of bold and brash predictions. He said then he believed Ivy Tech’s enrollment in Bloomington would grow to 5,000 in five years, and he wasn’t too far off.

By 2007 enrollment had more than doubled and a capital campaign had already raised more than $3.5 million to make improvements to Ivy Tech. The Grow Ivy Tech campaign raised money for expanding life-sciences programs; scholarships for students; the Center for Civic Engagement; and future building expansion. Ivy Tech had already outgrown the “new” building, which opened in 2002.

Now, enrollment is about 6,500 and opportunities for those students have grown exponentially from what was available in 2000. A big reason is that new academic building, but others include visionary leadership by Kimmons’ successor, John Whikehart, and an active, thoughtful and opportunistic regional board of trustees.

Whikehart has moved on now to become deputy mayor for the city of Bloomington, so new chancellor Jennie Vaughn oversaw Tuesday’s kick-off event for a campaign to raise $4 million to put into an expansion project partially funded by the state. Funds from this campaign will benefit students in a number of ways, including adding state-of-the-art lab spaces and classrooms, expanding the Olcott Library and the Hoosier Times student commons space, and creating group and individual study areas, a lecture hall, and other educational amenities. The additions will save nearly $300,000 being spent leasing space outside Ferguson Academic Building.

Through partnerships with businesses and industries, Indiana University and local high schools, Ivy Tech has provided high quality training and educational opportunities to thousands of students over the past decade. It has moved forward fast, from a quiet but useful learning alternative in our community to a vigorous and strong civic and educational player.

There’s no reason to slow that growth. 

The “Here We Grow Again” campaign deserves support .

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$1M Cook gift puts Ivy Tech halfway to goal for expansion

The Herald-Times

Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 12:14 am | Updated: 12:38 am, Wed Sep 10, 2014.

By MJ Slaby 812-331-4371 |

The fundraising campaign for an expansion of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington already is halfway to its goal after a new, $1 million gift was announced at Tuesday’s kickoff event.

Carl Cook, CEO of Cook Group, presented a $1 million check to the campus leaders for the capital campaign.

“Everybody reaches a point in their life where they need a place to go,” Cook said. “Ivy Tech is a place for them to go so they can get somewhere else in their lives.”

The fundraiser has a goal of $4 million to finish an expansion to the academic building. It is already at $2 million between the Cook donation and a previous $1 million donation from the Fergusons.

In total, the nearly 90,000-square-foot expansion will cost $24 million, but $20 million was given to Ivy Tech from the state. The addition includes added classrooms and labs, as well as a 400-seat lecture hall, and will expand the Olcott Library, Hoosier Times Student Commons and Bloomingfoods Market and Cafe.

School officials also announced Tuesday that the expansion will permit the culinary, baking, pastry and hospitality classes to be a part of the main campus.

The move will bring the majority of Ivy Tech classrooms to the main campus, said Bloomington campus Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. It was announced as part of the campus’s “Here We Grow Again!” fundraising kickoff event on Tuesday.

Vaughan said previous plans for the expansion had a space with an undetermined use, but a meeting with the architects led to using that space for a cooking lab, baking lab and restaurant.

Although current students already have those facilities in leased space, the move to the main campus will make sure there will always be a permanent home for the culinary and hospitality program, Vaughan said.

“It’s another student area for success,” she said.

Plus, Vaughan said leasing less space will lead to savings for Ivy Tech. She said the community college will still lease some spaces, but those are mostly offices.

The restaurant, like the current one, will be open once a week to avoid heavy competition with the Bloomingfoods cafe on campus, Vaughan said. She said having a restaurant is important to students in the hospitality, culinary, baking and pastry programs.

“It helps students learn the front part of the house — those are essential skills,” Vaughan said.

And the chancellor said she is excited to make the new space a reality.

“It positions us to better respond to the needs of our students now and in the future,” she said.



New northwest entry of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building at Ivy Tech Bloomington.



Courtesy photo

Jennie Vaughan, Ivy Tech chancellor.

Photo by Lisa Walker


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Ivy Tech launches campaign to raise $4 million for expansion

The Herald-Times

Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 5:35 pm | Updated: 8:58 am, Wed Aug 27, 2014.

By MJ Slaby 812-331-4371 |

Fall semester class are starting. Construction has become a constant. And Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington is launching a new fundraiser.

The $4 million capital campaign goal is the remainder needed for the nearly 90,000-square-foot expansion to the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, said Jennie Vaughan, Ivy Tech Bloomington chancellor.

Vaughan said the Fergusons already have donated $1 million to the campaign, and $20 million in funding for the $24 million project was allocated to Ivy Tech from the state.

An official campaign kickoff event is 4:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the main campus. After that is when the community should start noticing the “Here We Grow Again!” fundraising efforts to meet goal by May 2015, Vaughan said.

“We are excited about the additional space,” she said.

The current main campus building had a 5,000 student capacity – reached in fall 2007, when it was projected for 2011. Current enrollment is about 6,500, and Ivy Tech leases space on Liberty Drive that it will no longer need once the expansion is finished.

Vaughan said she’s confident the expansion will allow the enrollment to grow for some time, even as students from the now-leased space move to the main campus.

The library, computer labs, commons space and Bloomingfoods cafe will all grow by at least 50 percent, and the number of classrooms will go from 29 to 57, Vaughan said. She said construction – which began in May – is “right on schedule” for the expansion to be open in January 2016.

The campaign slogan comes from the last major fundraising campaign “Grow Ivy Tech” in 2006 to fund life sciences initiatives, scholarship support, the Center for Civic Engagement and land for the Indiana Center for Life Sciences. The goal of that campaign was $3 million and ended with $5.2 million, said Susie Graham, executive director for development.

This second campaign is proof that Ivy Tech is still growing, Vaughan said. Although students already stick around campus between classes, she said having more space will help make it a home.

“It’s proven when students connect to campus … they increase chances of success,” she said.

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Ivy Tech to host kick-off event in September for $4M capital campaign

August 26, 2014

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington will host a capital campaign kick-off event to fund its 90,000 square foot building expansion project, which is currently under way on the main campus. The “Here We Grow Again!” $4 million capital campaign kick-off event will be held on Tuesday, September 9 at 4:30 p.m. on the main campus at the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building and the public is encouraged to attend.

“Ivy Tech-Bloomington is excited to kick-off our ‘Here We Grow Again!’ capital campaign, building upon our last ‘Grow Ivy Tech’ campaign, said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “I want thank the chair of our board of trustees and campaign leader, Connie Ferguson, and our honorary campaign chairs Lee Marchant, John and Linda Whikehart, and Joyce Poling. Because of their leadership and support, we’re advancing student success at Ivy Tech-Bloomington.”

Students will benefit from additional state-of-the-art lab spaces and classrooms, an expanded Olcott library, group and individual study areas, an expanded Hoosier-Times student commons space, a larger Bloomingfoods Café, a writing center, expanded tutoring center, a lecture hall, and other educational space additions. 

By expanding the Ferguson Academic building, Ivy Tech-Bloomington anticipates a cost savings of nearly $300,000 per year in leased space, and could potentially realize more cost savings with further moves from leased space into the expansion. The college has been operating out of leased space on Liberty Drive since 2007 to accommodate its enrollment growth beyond facility capacity. The main campus building reached its 5,000 student capacity during Fall Semester 2007, and was not projected to do so until 2011. Current campus enrollment hovers at 6,500 students.

Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s main campus expansion construction costs came in at $24 million and the state Legislature released the allocated $20 million in July 2013 for the project. The “Here We Grow Again!” campaign goal is to raise $4 million by May 2015 to close that funding gap.

Here We Grow Again!

“Here We Grow Again!” ( is an exciting, $4 million capital campaign about strengthening student success at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington. With new and expanded learning spaces and the opportunity to support student, faculty, and program development, we are investing in the future of individuals, families, and communities, and by extension, the future of south-central Indiana.

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Ivy Tech students return, take a step toward goals

The Herald-Times

Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 10:29 pm | Updated: 12:08 am, Tue Aug 26, 2014

By MJ Slaby 812-331-4371 |

Ivy Tech bagpipes

Danny Gillespie plays bagpipes outside the entrance to Ivy Tech Community College Monday on the first day of classes on the Bloomington campus. The new chancellor, Jennie Vaughan, greets students in the background. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times


The fall semester just feels different.

“It feels better. There’s a better atmosphere,” said Steven Hunt, a sophomore at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington.

He said summer classes are rushed, and it seems like students are there because they have to be, not because they want to or are excited. The fall, though, is different.

“It feels fresh,” said Hunt, of Bloomington.

Monday was a fresh start as fall semester classes began at both Indiana University and Ivy Tech. It was also the start of Ivy Tech Bloomington Chancellor Jennie Vaughan’s first full academic year as chancellor.

Vaughan continued the tradition started by her predecessor, John Whikehart, by greeting students Monday morning as bagpipers played. This week will be filled with welcome back lunches, music and more for Ivy Tech students.

And for Hunt — who is deciding between history and anthropology as a major and hopes to transfer to IU — and his peers, the fresh start of a semester is one step closer to reaching an endgoal.

In the spring, June Young plans to apply for nursing schools. Two years ago, she enrolled at Ivy Tech to follow her dream of being a nurse.

“It was a life change for me,” she said. Young said her children are grown and she’s divorced, so she decided to become a nurse. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

She and fellow nursing classmate Lola Stout of Gosport are looking forward to studying microbiology this semester. Stout, a licensed practical nurse, said she chose to go to Ivy Tech to become a registered nurse so that she could make more money and work less if she wanted to.

Stout said the start of a semester can be scary, but it always works out OK, so she’s looking at this semester as one step closer.

“It’s the next thing to check off the list,” she said.

And for freshman Darian Bruce of Indianapolis, coming to Bloomington was an opportunity to move away from home to study culinary arts and one day have her own bakery. But this semester is mostly general classes before the hands-on baking begins, so she admitted she’s excited to finish and start next semester.

Nick Kelp, of Nashville, agreed that this semester takes him one step closer to his own goal: working in fire service. Monday was the start of his third year at Ivy Tech, and he said he’s ready to complete his degree.

“I want to finish up and get out into the real world,” he said.

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THEATER REVIEW: ‘MASS APPEAL’ Actors impeccably execute a massively funny script

The Herald-Times

Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014

By Matthew Waterman H-T Reviewer 

“It’s not an accident the collection comes after the sermon. It’s like the Nielsen ratings!”

This concept of popularity as a goal of preaching gives “Mass Appeal” its title. This two-character dramatic comedy, featuring actors Paul Daily (John Waldron Arts Center’s artistic director) and John Whikehart (Bloomington’s deputy mayor), lends us a hilarious and thought-provoking look into Catholic priesthood.

Father Tim Farley (Whikehart) is an experienced priest who has garnered adoration and loyalty from his parish. His sermons are pleasant and agreeable, his personal consolations generic and efficient. When a young seminarian called Mark Dolson (Daily) seizes the opportunity of Father Farley’s weekly dialogue sermon to challenge his stance against the ordination of women, Farley is infuriated yet slightly engrossed.

Under the surface of Dolson’s rogue persona is a deeply thoughtful, passionate and honest man. Perhaps Farley senses this right off the bat, or perhaps it’s only out of spite that Farley requests for Dolson to be assigned to him by the seminary.

The two men’s pairing is almost entirely acrimonious at first. Farley and Dolson hold polarized views on matters so fundamental as the purpose of the church and the responsibilities of priesthood.

Dolson, irreverent of institutional hierarchy, doesn’t hesitate to call Monsignor Burke (a pivotal offstage character who is a significant rector of the seminary) a “homophobic autocrat.”

Additionally, Dolson doesn’t hold back from condemning his teacher’s reliance on white lies, alcohol and gambling to get through the more vexatious parts of his profession. As Father Farley puts it: “I go to the races on Sunday to get over the Masses on Monday.”

And as Father Farley later advises: “If you want to be a priest, lie.”

Daily and Whikehart, under the direction of Jeffery Allen (director of Ivy Tech’s Center for Lifelong Learning), impeccably execute Bill C. Davis’ massively funny script. The two actors share flawless comic timing and a strong sense for dry humor.

Even though “Mass Appeal” teems with devastating laughs, the play is far from farcical. Each character has invaluable lessons to glean from the other, but especially Farley from Dolson. What Mark Dolson lacks in respect for authority and tradition, he makes up for in passion for Christ’s message.

Playwright Davis received a full Catholic education. Like his character Mark Dolson, Davis was scolded for laughing in church as a child. “Mass Appeal” satirizes the conservatism of the Catholic Church, but is by no means an anti-religious piece. Rather, Davis likely wrote it to address his feelings of what Catholicism should be.

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Jill’s House, Ivy Tech feeling impact of IU Health Proton Therapy Center’s closure

The Herald-Times
Posted: Saturday, August 23, 2014
By Michael Reschke 812-331-4370 | 

 “Our primary mission will cease to exist,” said Susan Dabkowski, executive director.

Jill’s House opened seven years ago as a place for proton therapy patients and their families to stay during treatment. At the time the proton therapy center opened in 2004, it was one of only three such facilities in the country.

“People were traveling great distances and needed a place to stay during two-month-long treatment,” Dabkowski said.

The center, which uses a proton beam generated by the IU Cyclotron to provide focused radiation treatments for certain types of tumors, is now one of 14 such centers in the United States. Another 20 are in development or planning, and most, if not all, offer advanced technology making them significantly less expensive than the center at IU, according to a news release from IU.

Indiana University Health announced Friday it would close the financially struggling center once the current roster of patients has completed treatment, which is expected to occur no later than Jan. 1, 2015. That decision will affect not only Jill’s House, but also Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus.

Ivy Tech has used the cyclotron as a clinical site for students in its radiation therapy degree program. The school’s administration just learned of the closure and is currently working on a plan, according to a prepared statement. Students will, however, continue to use the space for the fall semester.

Larry Swafford, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Radiation Therapy, plans to work with faculty to find other clinical sites within the state where students can complete their labs.

“This is something we’re doing all the time, as standard operating procedure,” Swafford said in the school’s prepared statement. “So, we have students at other clinical sites as well.”

The school is confident it will have clinical sites for students in spring 2015.

There are no such guarantees for Jill’s House, though. Despite broadening its mission in 2010 to accept patients, their families and caregivers from any area health care facility, the number of potential guests will decrease dramatically.

“Right now, we have 25 guest rooms,” Dabkowski said. “Without the proton therapy center, there’s no way to continue to sustain operations as per normal.”

Jill’s House is a nonprofit organization governed by a board of 13 directors. About half its funding comes from lodging fees, while the other half comes from donations, Dabkowski said.

One possibility is to more closely model the Ronald McDonald House in Indianapolis, which provides low-cost short- to long-term lodging for families of critically ill or injured children receiving treatment at Indianapolis-area hospitals. However, Bloomington does not have the large, regional hospitals that Indianapolis does.

“If there’s something we can continue to do to serve this niche population, that’s what we’ll continue to do,” Dabkowski said. “If we can continue, we will; if we can’t, we’ll face that reality.”

Phil Thompson, a former patient of the center who in 2005 helped create HoosiersCare — a 501(c)(3) organization offering free or low-cost housing to proton therapy patients and their families — said that group’s future is also murky.

“HoosiersCare owns four furnished condos that are all fully paid for,” he said. “If HoosiersCare can no longer carry on, then we may sell them and give the money to Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, or perhaps keep one condo the church could use to house visiting families.”

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