As Ivy Tech Community College celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2023, Ivy Tech Indianapolis is looking back at significant moments of our past that have made our campus the most extensive and diverse campus in the entire Ivy Tech system. As we progress toward continued positive change, we must reflect on our past to understand where we’ve been and envision our future. So, here’s to the next 60 years of building more efficient pathways to higher education for our community!

Ivy Tech Community College’s “Evening in Paris” was a night full of French cuisine and festivities that raised funds for Ivy Tech Community College’s culinary students to study abroad in Europe. 

Evening in Paris was the largest annual scholarship fundraising gala at Ivy Tech. 

In its 30th and final year, five years ago this month, the event raised over $160,000, affording culinary art students three weeks of invaluable learning from international chefs and attending Michelin-starred restaurants in and around Paris, France.

You can still see remnants of the bustling evening as the mock Eiffel Tower stands five years later in the lobby of Ivy Tech’s Culinary and Conference Center. 

An Evening in Paris featured a multi-course French-inspired meal created and cooked by Ivy Tech’s Hospitality Administration students. In addition to Ivy Tech students showing off their newly-learned skills, ticket-holders enjoyed cocktails, wine pairings, and live entertainment.

“It changes their worldview,” Alex Spicer told WISHTV in an interview previewing the 2018 Evening in Paris. Spicer was a hospitality program instructor then and is now Ivy Tech Indianapolis’ Director of Procurement and Project Management.

“You live in a certain area, you’re around certain food and aspects, but then you take yourself out of that environment and learn to see culture through other people’s eyes. And that broadens your perspective. So these students come back enriched,” Spicer said. 

Jeff Bricker, Ivy Tech Indianapolis' Hospitality Administration's Department Chair, says Evening in Paris was suspended so the department could begin conducting smaller, more topical fundraising events in each 8-week session in an effort to reach different audiences.

"We wanted to engage new donors in unique and different ways while also engaging more of our students in these events throughout the academic year instead of one big event, once a year," Bricker said.

After Evening in Paris saw its final evening five years ago, Ivy Tech Indianapolis’ School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts has had an assortment of programs and events since then that have enriched not only our students but our community. The Ivy Tech Indianapolis Culinary and Conference Center has hosted events such as The World Food Championships and Skills USA while also maintaining the Courses Restaurant, Bakery-Cafe, and Courses Curbside Food Truck.

Ivy Tech Hospitality Department students still get the chance to study abroad in France every year. Students submit a portfolio that exhibits their interests every fall. A committee then chooses the top students to be given a travel scholarship. Each student is required to only pay $1,000 for the cost of the trip, as the remaining travel, food, and lodging are covered.

Students interested in traveling to France in 2024 can expect more information about how to apply around September or October.

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.