The Herald-Times

Dreams coming true at Ivy Tech graduation ceremonies Friday

By Bethany Nolan

331-4373 |

May 12, 2011

Back in high school, Matt Taflinger’s counselor told him he wasn’t college material.

In the ensuing years, he worked in factories, dug ditches with an underground telephone contractor and did technical work for a local cable company. Then, the bottom dropped out of the economy. He lost his job, leaving him to provide for his family with a minimum wage, part-time job.

But that dark cloud turned out to have a silver lining — he qualified for a continuing education program through the unemployment office and started taking classes at Ivy Tech.

“I wanted to do something with a future in it,” he told school officials. “College was simply a dream in the clouds for me, but persistence, intuition, and timing put me where I needed to be to learn the basic skill sets that I am continuing to learn to this day, allowing me to prove the doubters wrong — and also prove to myself that college was for me and I can live that dream.”

And all his hard work has paid off. Taflinger, who will graduate Friday with an associate’s degree in Information Technology, has a full time job waiting for him.

He’s one of hundreds of students who will participate in commencement ceremonies for Bloomington’s Ivy Tech.

Graduation will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at the Indiana University Auditorium. Nursing student Amber Snider will serve as keynote speaker.

About 540 students will receive associate’s degrees or certificates during the commencement ceremonies, or about 100 more than last year. Nearly 190 of those graduating are doing so with honors, with 13 students earning a Summa Cum Laude designation for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average. In addition, about 75 nursing degrees will be awarded and those new nurses will be pinned during the event.

“Ivy Tech looks forward to commencement each year. It is the culminating event for students,” chancellor John Whikehart said in a prepared statement. “We are proud of all of our graduates, and many have overcome great adversity to accomplish their academic goals. Now it’s time for these alumni to carry the torch forward, and I have confidence that they will represent Ivy Tech well in the next chapter of their lives.”

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution, serving nearly 200,000 students each year.

Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington

David Snodgress | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2011