The Indianapolis campus of Ivy Tech Community College held its inaugural Shades of Excellence: Multicultural Graduation Celebration on Monday. 

Hosted by the campus’ Office of Diversity & Community Engagement, Shades of Excellence celebrated spring 2023 graduates who self-identify in a variety of diverse ways within multiculturalism. 

Shades of Excellence consisted of a well-rounded lineup of speakers and representatives from a wide variety of communities, cultures, and campus departments. 

The ceremony opened with a land acknowledgment and introduction by Dr. Lizette Rivera, the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging, who organized the event.

Amanda Bonilla, Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Community Engagement, followed with words of purpose, sharing with those in attendance how an inclusive ceremony in celebration of multiple identities was vital to the mission of Ivy Tech Indianapolis. 

Former Chancellor Lorenzo Esters followed with a congratulatory statement in which he imparted several words of wisdom. Among the many remarks, Dr. Esters shared that he hopes the graduates will go on to “create community” and “continue to open doors” for those behind them.  

“Do not confuse what you do with who you are. Spend your time wisely,” Dr. Esters shared.

Ahmadzia Momand, Student Government Association President, shared his pride for the Ivy Tech Indianapolis campus and its diverse community. 

“You are the future leaders of our community. Continue to be ambassadors of diversity,” Momand said. “It’s time for us to recognize the diversity in our accomplishments.” 

Each one of the graduates was called to the front of the room, where the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging presented them with custom gold Shades of Excellence Graduate coins. 

Several communities and cultures were represented at the intimate celebration, where leaders and department heads gave special recognition to graduates who were part of their organization or utilized their services. Such departments and groups included Veteran and Military Services, TRIO Student Support Services, Disability Support Services, Student Life, Brother2Brother, and the Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP). 

Danielle Stiles-Polk, the Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations, gave the closing remarks. Stiles-Polk shared that she hoped each one of the graduates would sign up to receive updates from her team on the state of the campus and continue to be proud alumni. 

Post-ceremony, the graduates, their families, staff, and faculty shared a meal in Bowen Commons. 

The campus’ Diversity, Equity, Belonging + Community Engagement team looks forward to hosting Shades of Excellence: Multicultural Graduation Celebration annually.

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.