On Thursday evening, Ivy Tech Community College brought together many in the community and honored scholarship recipients and benefactors at their Chancellors' Scholarship Dinner. The 17th annual event had more than 300 in attendance comprised of students, faculty, and donors.
The night began with cocktails, a photo booth, and fellowship. Attendees were then treated to a three course meal before celebrating individual winners of the Chancellors' Scholarships and the Benefactor of the Year, NIPSCO.
John Murphy, President of Ivy Tech Foundation, traveled from Indianapolis to celebrate with the recipients and give remarks during the program.
“[This scholarship] is a huge opportunity for the students and their families,” Murphy said. “It helps them get to the finish line.”
Murphy explained that the Ivy Tech Foundation focuses on providing those opportunities to as many students as possible. He also expressed that the event itself is responsible for additional financial contributions.
Aco Sikoski, Chancellor of the Valparaiso Campus, remarked on the potential of Northwest Indiana.
“Tonight is a celebration of the outstanding academic achievements of our students made possible by the many community partners of Northwest Indiana,” Sikoski said. “The individuals honored tonight represent many talented students attending three campuses serving Northwest Indiana: Lake County, Valparaiso, Michigan City. They came to Ivy Tech to help change their lives and help themselves to create better hope. Ivy Tech is proud of its mission to prepare Indiana residents to learn, to lead, and work in a diverse and globally competitive environment. We believe in the potential of Northwest Indiana.”
That potential was evident in Gabriella Hill, a scholarship recipient who plans to utilize the funds to achieve her dream of becoming a professor.
“I was so excited when I got the email,” Hill said. “I called everyone up.”
Hill gave a student reflection during the program in which she thanked Ivy Tech for all the support and inspiration during her studies.
Another scholarship winner, Suzanne Dodson, was moved by the generosity of the donors. She said it was her pleasure to meet benefactor, Scott Kleppe.
“I’ve worked hard all my life and never got anything like this,” Dodson said to Kleppe. “It’s an honor.”
“I went to Ivy Tech almost 40 years ago,” Kleppe said. “I’ve been very fortunate to be able to give back to help young people move ahead.”
The idea of investing and thanking donors followed as Peter Linden, Chancellor of the Michigan City campus, addressed the crowd.
“I’d like to thank NIPSCO for all you’ve done,” Linden said. “To all donors, while there are many worthwhile causes needing of support both regionally and nationally, we thank you for selecting Ivy Tech and making a difference in the lives on Northwest Indiana residents.”
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