Ivy Tech Community College held its spring commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 5, 2024, at the Elliott Hall of Music on the campus of Purdue University, celebrating the accomplishments of 1,390 graduates. The ceremony was a showcase of academic excellence, featuring heartfelt speeches, and recognizing the diverse and resilient student body of Ivy Tech.

Commencement Highlights

The ceremony began with an address from Ivy Tech President, Dr. Sue Ellspermann, who highlighted the graduates' potential and the opportunities awaiting them. "Today marks a new beginning filled with endless possibilities and opportunities. Whether you are continuing your education, starting a new career, or climbing the career ladder, remember, Ivy Tech will always be your supportive community," said Dr. Ellspermann.

Commissioner Chris Lowery of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, delivered the keynote address. Drawing from his extensive background in educational leadership and workforce development, Commissioner Lowery encouraged graduates to value their education as a cornerstone for future success. "You made an investment in yourself, your future, and your loved ones, and that investment is promising. With every level of education achieved, you enhance not just your own prospects, but also those of your family and community," Lowery stated.

Zachary Barrett, representing the student body as this year’s student speaker, shared his story of resilience and personal growth. From an uncertain start, through his time in the Marines, to discovering his passion for software development, Barrett's journey is a powerful reminder of the transformative impact of education. "Life is about taking risks and growing from them," Barrett recounted, quoting author Kurt Vonnegut to underline the importance of continuous self-discovery and perseverance.

A Community of Diverse Learners

At Ivy Tech Community College, diversity isn’t just a statistic; it's a testament to our commitment to serving all learners. Our students come from all walks of life, bringing rich and varied backgrounds to our campus. From high school students advancing their education through dual credit and dual enrollment, to traditional students fresh out of high school, and non-traditional students who decide to start or return to college later in life—we embrace and support them all. Our community also includes many first-generation college students, each carrying the unique challenges and triumphs of navigating higher education for the first time. At Ivy Tech, we celebrate this diversity, knowing that each student’s journey enhances our collective experience and contributes to a robust learning environment.

This spring’s commencement included two exemplary graduates who illustrate the courage, determination, and diversity of our student population:

Christina Jones – Nursing Graduate

Christina Jones, a resilient graduate of our Nursing program, exemplifies the determination that defines Ivy Tech students. Facing the dual challenges of personal loss and health issues, Christina’s journey through grief and her battle with cancer showcases her extraordinary perseverance. With the unwavering support of Ivy Tech's faculty and staff, she was able to maintain her studies while managing her health and personal responsibilities. Christina's achievement is not just in earning her degree but in demonstrating the power of community and support in overcoming life's most formidable obstacles.

Ignacio ‘Junior’ Munoz – Business Administration and Accounting Graduate

Ignacio Munoz represents the ambitious spirit of our younger learners who maximize every opportunity for early college credit. By engaging fully in our dual credit and dual enrollment programs, Junior not only completed two associate degrees by the time of his high school graduation but also set a clear trajectory towards his future academic and professional goals. His story is a brilliant example of how early planning and dedication can dramatically streamline the path to higher education and beyond.

As Ivy Tech looks to the future, we are inspired by the stories of Christina, Junior, and all our graduates. Their experiences and achievements reinforce our mission to provide accessible, affordable, and high-quality education that meets the needs of every student, no matter where they start or how they choose to journey with us.

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.