The Herald-Times

Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 10:29 pm | Updated: 12:08 am, Tue Aug 26, 2014

By MJ Slaby 812-331-4371 |

Ivy Tech bagpipes

Danny Gillespie plays bagpipes outside the entrance to Ivy Tech Community College Monday on the first day of classes on the Bloomington campus. The new chancellor, Jennie Vaughan, greets students in the background. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times


The fall semester just feels different.

“It feels better. There’s a better atmosphere,” said Steven Hunt, a sophomore at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington.

He said summer classes are rushed, and it seems like students are there because they have to be, not because they want to or are excited. The fall, though, is different.

“It feels fresh,” said Hunt, of Bloomington.

Monday was a fresh start as fall semester classes began at both Indiana University and Ivy Tech. It was also the start of Ivy Tech Bloomington Chancellor Jennie Vaughan’s first full academic year as chancellor.

Vaughan continued the tradition started by her predecessor, John Whikehart, by greeting students Monday morning as bagpipers played. This week will be filled with welcome back lunches, music and more for Ivy Tech students.

And for Hunt — who is deciding between history and anthropology as a major and hopes to transfer to IU — and his peers, the fresh start of a semester is one step closer to reaching an endgoal.

In the spring, June Young plans to apply for nursing schools. Two years ago, she enrolled at Ivy Tech to follow her dream of being a nurse.

“It was a life change for me,” she said. Young said her children are grown and she’s divorced, so she decided to become a nurse. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

She and fellow nursing classmate Lola Stout of Gosport are looking forward to studying microbiology this semester. Stout, a licensed practical nurse, said she chose to go to Ivy Tech to become a registered nurse so that she could make more money and work less if she wanted to.

Stout said the start of a semester can be scary, but it always works out OK, so she’s looking at this semester as one step closer.

“It’s the next thing to check off the list,” she said.

And for freshman Darian Bruce of Indianapolis, coming to Bloomington was an opportunity to move away from home to study culinary arts and one day have her own bakery. But this semester is mostly general classes before the hands-on baking begins, so she admitted she’s excited to finish and start next semester.

Nick Kelp, of Nashville, agreed that this semester takes him one step closer to his own goal: working in fire service. Monday was the start of his third year at Ivy Tech, and he said he’s ready to complete his degree.

“I want to finish up and get out into the real world,” he said.

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.