Press release from Ivy Tech Community College
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Ivy Tech Community College, which got its start as Indiana Vocational Technical College, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. Ivy Tech Southeast Chancellor Jim Helms says celebratory events are being planned at the Madison, Lawrenceburg and Batesville campuses.
Ivy Tech was created by the Indiana Legislature in 1963 with the intent to make college-level, job oriented training available within 50 miles of all Indiana residents. In the 50 years since its inception Ivy Tech, with about 200,000 students annually, has become Indiana’s largest college or university while offering the state’s lowest cost of tuition. It is also the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
“50th birthday celebration events are planned at Madison on March 27, Lawrenceburg on April 30, and at the Batesville site on May 1,” stated Helms. “We think it is most appropriate to have opened the new Batesville campus in the same year as Ivy Tech’s 50th anniversary.” Helms added, “The opening of a new Batesville campus was a great way to highlight the statewide celebration here in southeastern Indiana.” Classes began January 14, 2013 in the former Batesville Forethought building.
Ivy Tech Southeast, which serves Dearborn, Jefferson, Ohio, Ripley, and Switzerland Counties in Indiana as well as the bordering areas of Cincinnati, Ohio and northern Kentucky, originated in 1968 in a small office space on Madison’s historic Main Street. Classes were eventually offered at the old Madison High School on Broadway, at the American Legion Home in Lawrenceburg, and at Batesville High School. By 1975 seven degree programs were available at Madison. Two years later classes were held in Lawrenceburg in a leased, vacated building that had served as an automobile dealership and bowling alley. In the early 1980’s Ivy Tech’s presence in Batesville was served mostly by a mobile computer lab, which was followed by leased space in a municipal building.
“In November 1983 we opened a new facility on Madison’s hilltop, expanding to the current $19.9 million dollar building in 2008,” Helms stated. “In October 1999 a new Lakefront campus was dedicated at Lawrenceburg and we opened an instructional site in a former supermarket building at 920 County Line Road in Batesville. In August 2006 Lawrenceburg began classes in a newly-constructed, five-story Riverfront Campus while retaining the Lakefront site. We are appreciative and proud of the fact city governments, school corporations, businesses and industries, and Southeast Region communities have supported our efforts to the extent we now have outstanding facilities at all three of our campus locations.”
In June 1973 eleven students comprised Ivy Tech Southeast’s first graduating class. In May 2012 a record of 450-plus students graduated from Ivy Tech Southeast in ceremonies held at Hanover College near Madison. Over 4,000 students are currently enrolled in the Southeast Spring 2013 semester. The current combined enrollment of the Lawrenceburg and Batesville sites is about 2,500 while 1,500 are registered at Madison. Helms says he anticipates total enrollment, which increased fifteen percent (15%) from Spring 2012 to Spring 2013, will grow even more now that the new, spacious Batesville site is open.
According to Helms more information about 50th anniversary celebration activities will be available in the near future. “Ivy Tech has become the higher education institution of choice for thousands and thousands of Hoosiers who are achieving their dream of a college education,” Helms says. “We are planning events that will be appropriate to the stature and credibility the College has attained in these past fifty years.”
Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with local community needs along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.