Two sisters, born four years apart in Ghana, will graduate from Ivy Tech today.

It wasn’t planned or even expected, but both sisters said they enjoyed going to college together — most of the time.

“There are those moments, as sisters have,” said Lynn Lamptey.

The elder of the two, Lynn is graduating with an associate of applied science in network infrastructure. Her sister, Tracy Lamptey, has earned a technical certificate in optometric technology. She’s transferring to Indiana University, where she’ll major in chemistry before applying to optometry school.

The two spent of lot of time with each other during the past academic year, not only living together, but carpooling to Ivy Tech Community College west of Bloomington. Once on campus, the two rarely bumped into each other because their classes were at opposite ends of the building. But Tracy said she benefited from her older sister’s support and familiarity with the school.

“She’s older, so she knows what’s going on,” Tracy said. “If there’s a free movie or free food, she’s most likely to find out about it.”

Lynn’s path to Ivy Tech wasn’t as direct as her sister’s. After coming to the United States to live with their mother, who was pursuing a Ph.D. in African American and African Diaspora Studies at IU, Lynn graduated from Bloomington High School North and took a year off from school. She then enrolled at Calvin College in Michigan.

Lynn spent one year at the private, liberal arts college. Worried about the cost and annoyed by the drive home during breaks, she decided to transfer to Ivy Tech. Her plan was to earn a degree in general studies, then transfer to IU, but she changed course after discovering a new interest.

“I ended up taking a networking class, and I was like, ‘Yup, I’m going to do this now,’” she said.

Tracy has been interested in optometry since she was a kid. Her mom, now a visiting professor at IU, sent her to several camps the university offered. One day, she got a tour of the optometry school. She talked to students about their classes and what they hoped to do for their careers.

Tracy wanted to go to IU after high school, but she had not yet established permanent residency in Indiana, so she would have hard to pay out-of-state tuition. Ivy Tech was cheaper, even for someone who was considered an international student. It also had an optometric technology program.

Tracy’s request for permanent residency was approved just before she started at Ivy Tech last fall. She decided to take only the program’s core classes to earn a certificate. That’s how, after only one year of college, she’ll be graduating with her older sister.

Both sisters plan to attend Ivy Tech commencement, set for 6 p.m. today at the IU Auditorium. They want to spend their last evening as Ivy Tech students the same way they spent the past year — together.

“We probably will end up sitting next to each other, because our last names are the same,” Tracy said. “I hope so.”

Contact Michael Reschke at 812-331-4370, or follow @MichaelReschke on Twitter.

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.