Faculty Members Give Back
It's well known that Ivy Tech Community College faculty and staff inspire their students to dream big and have ambitious goals. What's not as well known is the degree to which Ivy Tech'ss students inspire those who work at the College.
Recently, six faculty members at the Fort Wayne campus demonstrated their belief in Ivy Tech's mission by pledging to support student scholarships.
Four current faculty - Dr. Joshua Long, Patrick McCormick, Kathleen Weiss, and Phyllis Wiegmann - are in the process of establishing a series of endowed scholarship accounts. Each faculty member is donating no less than $10,000 through payroll deduction to scholarships managed by the Foundation.
In addition, two retired faculty members - Janet Geib and Merland Beyler - also have made significant contributions. Geib has donated over $25,000 and Beyler more than $20,000 in scholarship money over the past few years.
It all adds up to more than $85,000 in scholarship funds contributed by these six deeply committed faculty members. Each is motivated by the same principle: in changing students' lives, they have found their lives changed as well.
Geib says the decision to fund a scholarship was a natural outgrowth of her work.
"I saw many adept students who needed money for their education but who were not eligible for scholarship money because of one reason or another," she explains. "I wanted to fund a scholarship aimed at those people - to help them graduate and prepare them for the workforce."
McCormick agrees, and says that the same spirit can be found throughout the campus.
"Ivy Tech Community College has an outstanding faculty that cares about the students and is committed to their success," McCormick says. "Our focus as faculty is on the students. The endowed scholarships are an extension of that focus."
For Wiegmann, giving to Ivy Tech started with individual contributions to coworkers, relatives, and neighbors who aspired to take college classes. Now, she feels a compelling desire to leave a lasting legacy.
"I decided that I wanted that kind of help to be available when I was no longer working at Ivy Tech," she says, "so I set up the scholarship through the Foundation."
Wiegmann adds that she will continue to lend a helping hand where needed until the scholarship is fully funded.
For these six scholarship contributors, the funds are also a way to acknowledge those who once inspired them - be it through memorial scholarships, scholarships for a specific program, or need-based funding. The objective, as Dr. Long says, is to be a living example of Ivy Tech's work.
"Ivy Tech serves a wide number of people throughout the state of Indiana," he states. "Some of those individuals face a range of challenges, including some which are financial in nature. In my view, giving to the Ivy Tech Foundation in the form of an endowed scholarship helps to create an ongoing opportunity to make a difference in lives of present and future Ivy Tech students - and in the greater community."