By Jon Blau 331-4266 | firstname.lastname@example.org
At a ceremony Wednesday night commemorating the “closing” of John Whikehart’s career as chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, the soon-to-be deputy mayor of Bloomington helped name a building after one person.
And then, Ivy Tech named the auditorium in the John Waldron Arts Center, where the ceremony was being held, after Whikehart and his wife.
Whikehart used his final moments as chancellor, ending a term that began in 2001, to name the newly acquired Pain Real Estate building the Lee J. Marchant School of Nursing, in honor of the Ivy Tech trustee and benefactor. At the end of the ceremony, it was revealed that the words “Linda and John Whikehart Auditorium” had already been written outside of one of the entrances.
Much of the night was spent lauding Whikehart for his accomplishments, including the creation of transfer agreements between the community college and Indiana University and the creation of a downtown arts center. In fact, the joke between Whikehart and Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder was his chancellor may have been too good at getting attention. Snyder said it was his goal in 2014 to be photographed more than Whikehart.
The outgoing chancellor then poked fun at Snyder because his seat in front of the auditorium was “in the shadows.” Snyder replied: “Story of my life.”
Mayor Mark Kruzan, who will soon be joined by Whikehart at Bloomington’s City Hall, had a fake sign created reading “John Whikehart Arts Center,” substituting his name for John Waldron, but saying, “All we have to do is find a building for it.” When the actual naming of the auditorium was unveiled, Whikehart made light of it, saying he might have just donated money to get his name on something.
“That saved me $200,000,” Whikehart said.
Whikehart becomes “chancellor emeritus,” and will leave the college Jan. 15. He used his time at the podium to thank the community for its support, including announcing the addition of Marchant’s name to the nursing building. The 2013 “Benefactor of the Year” for Ivy Tech in Bloomington, Marchant had endowed two nursing scholarships at the campus, totaling 39 financial awards to nursing students to date.
The Pain Real Estate building, at 101 N. Daniels Way, was acquired from Monroe County in fall 2013, and the facility will be open to students this fall. A dedication for the newly named building will be held in the spring.