Ivy Tech Community College’s Lake County campus will celebrate Commencement ceremonies at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, at the Steel Yard, home of the Gary SouthShore RailCats baseball team.

The stadium, located on 5th Avenue, is a few blocks east of Broadway in Gary.

The Class of 2023 includes more than 1,000 graduates earning more than 1,300 degrees and certificates during the 2022-2023 academic year. Once again, the event will be livestreamed on Ivy Tech Lake County’s Facebook page, which can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/IvyTechLakeCounty  or @IvyTechLakeCounty.

“It’s always wonderful to see the pride on the faces of our graduates and their families,” Louie Gonzalez, chancellor of Ivy Tech Lake County, said. “Many of our students have to juggle jobs and families while working to earn their degree or credential. This day is a special moment for the graduates. This is the time to recognize their hard work and the support they had from family and friends along the way.’”

Dr. Ed Williams, former president and CEO of Lakeshore Employment and Training Partnership Inc., will be the keynote speaker. He also previously was director of Community and Governmental Affairs with Ameristar East Chicago, and he continues in a leadership role with numerous community organizations.

 This year’s Distinguished Graduate is Heather Floutsis, who earned an associate degree in Human Services-Social Work. Despite starting college in the middle of the pandemic, Heather maintained an internship and twice earned a spot on the Dean’s List, as well as multiple scholarships, all while homeschooling her youngest child. She plans to continue her education at Valparaiso University.

Dr. Jessica Howard is this year’s Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Howard graduated from Ivy Tech Lake County in 2006 with a degree in Physical Therapist Assistant, eventually earning a Doctor of Physical Therapist degree. She is managing director of two outpatient orthopedic physical therapy clinics for Rush Physical Therapy and continues to partner with Ivy Tech, offering students clinical placements and serving as a clinical instructor. She continues to amass professional certifications and works with local running groups to focus on form and safety.

This year’s Honorary Degree recipient is Robert Snyder, assistant principal and Director of Guidance at Munster High School. Snyder has been instrumental in the dual credit partnership with Ivy Tech Lake County.  In 2021-2022, Munster students earned more than 7,000 college credits through Ivy Tech and saved more than $2.3 million in college costs.  Approximately 20 percent of the graduating class completed the Indiana College Core Certificate, which granted them a year of free college. This partnership has generated more than $10.6 million in savings to families over the past five years.

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.