Ivy Tech graduation ceremony today

By Abby Tonsing
331-4245 | atonsing@heraldt.com

May 17, 2013

More than 800 graduates will be honored Friday evening during Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington’s commencement. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. at the Indiana University Auditorium.

Ivy Tech will award 824 associate degrees, certificates and technical certificates at this year’s commencement.

Among those graduating is Jonathon Holland, a 26-year-old transfer student from Indiana University, who will receive an associate degree in general studies with magna cum laude honors.

Holland started his education at IU and later dropped out because of financial difficulties and other issues.

“I really didn’t do well, I think I was overwhelmed there,” he said in a phone interview. “Not only the party scene, but class sizes, too.”

Having served time in jail and recovering from addiction, Holland said he was nervous about going back to school.

“The mix of people really helped that,” he said. “I think I was kind of seen as a person, not just a student.”

Holland appreciated sharing the classrooms and hallways of Ivy Tech with a variety of people, from teenagers who had just graduated high school to adults taking classes in an effort to change careers.

And: “People like me who are just trying to get a second chance.”

Holland received Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian Award for his volunteer work people struggling with addiction recovery and those re-entering society after incarceration. He taught weekly writing workshops at the Recovery Engagement Center, and was also named Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Newman Civic Fellow.

He plans to give IU another try and pursue a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing.

Also graduating from Ivy Tech are six international students from Taiwan, Japan, China, Vietnam, New Guinea and Columbia; seven students with summa cum laude honors for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average; 34 military veterans; 63 students who are members of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society; and 158 students graduating with honors.

The commencement address will be given by Daniel Stec, a graduate of associate of science in nursing. He was a member of Campus Activities Board, Student Leadership Academy and Student Government Association. He served as an area representative for the International Student Exchange program, attended the college’s Alternative Spring Break program to Mexico in 2011 and has helped raise money for Homeward Bound.

“Commencement is the culminating event for our graduates and their families, and for the faculty and staff,” Chancellor John Whikehart stated in a press release. “Ivy Tech takes pride in the accomplishments of our students, who have made sacrifices to achieve their educational goals. We look forward to celebrating with them.”

Ivy Tech graduate, Arisha Anderson, is an outstanding student award recipient and a associate in applied science degree recipient during the Ivy Tech Community College graduation ceremony in 2011 at the Indiana University Auditorium in Bloomington.

The IU auditorium is filled with friends and family of Ivy Tech graduates during the May 2012 ceremony.  Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.