As student nurses and the community gathered around him, Lee Marchant said there was no perfect word for how it feels to have a nursing building dedicated in his name.
“In the wildest stretch of my imagination, and certainly of my parents’ … I had no idea this was going to happen,” he said.
On Wednesday evening, Bloomington’s Ivy Tech Community College dedicated the Lee J. Marchant School of Nursing building. At 101 N. Daniels Way, the building is near the school’s main building and is just one of the new spaces for the community college, which is currently fundraising for an addition to the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building.
Marchant is longtime supporter and advocate for the Ivy Tech Bloomington campus and a member of the Ivy Tech state board of trustees since 2007.
“This is more than a step in the right direction,” said Tom Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. The dedication coincided with the state board of trustees’ visit to the Bloomington campus for board meetings Wednesday and today.
Snyder said the new space will prepare students to be nurses who help their community and have the earning power to support their families.
For student Mariah Thompson, nursing was a career where she could advance and maybe one day earn a master’s degree or teach. And she said she chose Ivy Tech Bloomington because it was affordable, close to home and a small, personal program.
She and the rest of the nursing students have been using the new space since summer, and Thompson said it’s been great to have a bigger space.
“We’re not climbing on top of each other to get to the manikins,” she said.
Marchant has long supported the nursing program at Ivy Tech Bloomington and established two endowed nursing scholarships for students, as well as helping start the certified nursing assistant program.
“Without your support, we wouldn’t be the school and college we are today,” said Celinda Kay Leach, a nursing professor emerita. “Caring in nursing and Lee have gone hand in hand for over 40 years.”
Marchant said he loves to be around the student nurses and is looking forward to seeing them at their graduations. He said being a nurse means they are the first person that most people see when they are born and often times, the last person who is there at the end.
“What you are to me is an incredible inspiration,” Marchant told the nursing students. “And what we are doing here today is for you.”