The Herald-Times

Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 2:41 pm | Updated: 10:53 pm, Mon Jan 13, 2014.

By Jon Blau 331-4266 |

Retired Gen. Colin Powell will speak at a dinner as part of Ivy Tech Community College’s 11th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service.

Powell, the first African-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H. W. Bush and former secretary of state for President George W. Bush, will headline the institute’s fundraising dinner at 5:30 p.m. April 24 at the Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center. Ticket proceeds from the event benefit Ivy Tech’s Center for Civic Engagement in Bloomington.

Ivy Tech has worked through a speakers bureau to recruit figures such as presidential candidate George McGovern, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and former first lady Laura Bush to speak during the O’Bannon Institute’s festivities in the past, and this year, Powell was the name forwarded to the college, Chancellor John Whikehart said.

“The event is all about community service,” Whikehart said. “A retired general and former secretary of state, he might have much to say about that.”

Individual tickets for the dinner will cost $100. Event sponsorships for the O’Bannon Institute cost $3,000, while sponsoring the dinner itself comes at a price of $1,500.

Speakers are paid with money separate from the college’s operating budget, Whikehart said, including proceeds from Ivy Tech’s bookstore and donations.

On April 25, the third and final day for this year’s O’Bannon Institute event, Whikehart will be invited back to participate in a discussion with Herald-Times editor-in-chief Bob Zaltsberg. Whikehart will retire from the college Jan. 15 to become deputy mayor with the City of Bloomington and “Chancellor Emeritus” at Ivy Tech, but he helped create the O’Bannon Institute during his tenure and called it “the signature event for our campus.”

“I hope to see it continue,” Whikehart said.

Since leaving Bush’s cabinet in 2004, Powell has remained an active voice in politics. He supported Barack Obama for president in 2008 and 2012. A four-star general who once backed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Powell endorsed a repeal of the policy, which banned gays from serving openly in the military, in 2010. He has also been a proponent of same-sex marriage. In 2012, he authored “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership.”


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.