O’Bannon Institute Pushes Political Participation, Community Service

Herald-Times Editorial Staff  | Apr 27, 2017

BLOOMINGTON – The O’Bannon Institute of Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington continues to be a highlight of the community’s academic calendar.

This is the 14th year of the event, which focuses on political participation and community service.

Tonight’s sold-out fund-raising event has scored another in a long line of relevant speakers with presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jon Meacham. He’s well suited to offer insights into the most recent presidential cycle, which ended with the election of Donald Trump as president.

On Friday, focus will switch to helping the community through the Day of Service. Chancellor Jennie Vaughan has invited the entire community to help meet a goal of providing 1,000 hours of community service at local nonprofits. At last report, there were more than 100 volunteer slots remaining for a wide range of projects in Bloomington, Ellettsville and Bedford.

For an update on projects that still need volunteers, go to ivytech.edu/obannon and click on Day of Service.

Former Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon will again speak at the event, which is named for her late husband, former Gov. Frank O’Bannon. Plaques handed out at previous O’Bannon Institutes featured this quote from the governor’s inaugural address: “Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as I can before turning it over to future generations.”

That sentiment exemplifies the goals of political participation and community service, and fits very nicely with the value of this annual event.