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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Ivy Tech students, from left, Satya Sunkavalli, Casey Le-Hue and Alysen Wade mug for the camera in a photo booth at Wednesday’s Founder’s Day celebration in honor of the 50th anniversary of the statewide community college.

Ivy Tech celebrates 50th anniversary

Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast started in 1969 with three staff members and 130 students on the third floor of a downtown building now occupied by Indiana Tech.

Ivy Tech Chancellor Jerrilee Mosier said Wednesday that she’s humbled by the school’s start and how far it’s come since that time. Mosier spoke during a 50th anniversary celebration at the Student Life Center for the statewide community college, which began in 1963.

“We have a long history of serving our communities,” Mosier said of the 31 degree-granting campuses. The campus in Fort Wayne has an enrollment of about 12,000 students, an increase from the 130 it started out with in 1969.

Students and staff could win prizes during Wednesday’s event, buy food items for 50 cents and receive a free T-shirt and bag. They were also encouraged to donate 50 cents to the college’s foundation, which supports student scholarships.

A photo booth, face painting, caricature drawings and other activities were available as well.

Mosier said the school has met the changing needs of the community, starting with just two programs – drafting and secretarial technology – and expanding to more than 35 such as automotive and culinary arts.

Mosier said the college will continue to evolve and change with the skills required of the region’s workforce.

“My vision for Ivy Tech is that we will be the institution that’s most responsive to business and community needs,” she said.