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This spring we continue our “year of anniversaries” for Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington. The John Waldron Arts Center, now an Ivy Tech building, became a community arts center 25 years ago. Ivy Tech Bloomington opened the Ferguson Academic Building on Daniels Way 15 years ago, and 10 years ago, the Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning was established. Chancellor Emeritus John Whikehart envisioned a division that aligned with the strategic goal to foster and support lifelong learning, while also fulfilling the mission to become a comprehensive community college. Susie Graham was charged with initiating and running the division. After months of research and preparation, the newly-minted Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) kicked off fall semester 2007 with classes ranging from computer software basics to donkey jaw musical instruments.

Since 2007 the CLL has made Bloomington a better community for all. We introduce young children (many who will become first generation college students) to our campus through summer and afterschool programs. We draw heavily on the talents of local artists and educators and partner with local businesses and entrepreneurs. Our programs serve ages three and up (our oldest student on record is 97 years old). Our generous scholarship program provides financial support for children under 18 who otherwise wouldn’t experience an arts camp or spend summer on a college campus. We offer an ever-expanding course catalog with topics as diverse as metalsmithing, stand-up comedy, and birding. Like many of Ivy Tech’s community-centered initiatives—like the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center—we are part of a comprehensive community college that develops educated and workforce-ready citizens and fosters communities where they will want to live and work.

On behalf of the staff and faculty at the Center for Lifelong Learning I want to thank you for helping the CLL do its part in making Ivy Tech a college for the community. For a decade you have been our teachers, students, collaborators, volunteers, and financers. You have enabled us to serve thousands of community members each year and to expand our programming over 600 percent. As we look forward to another decade of growth and enrichment, I invite your continued support. Keep partnering with us, and teaching for us, and telling us how we can improve—and wherever you see Ivy Tech, look for lifelong learning.

See you in class! 

Curtis Smith, Director
The Center for Lifelong Learning
Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington