Ivy Tech chancellor presiding over final graduation

Thomas Coley

SOUTH BEND — Ivy Tech Community College will confer 2,186 degrees and certificates at its 2019 commencement for the South Bend-Elkhart campus at 6 p.m. Friday inside Purcell Pavilion at the University of Notre Dame.

The ceremony will mark the final Ivy Tech commencement for Chancellor Thomas G. Coley, who will officially retire from the college at the end of the month. Coley – who will also deliver remarks – has served in the leadership role since July 2011.

Ivy Tech statewide Vice President of Academic Affairs – Russell Baker – will be the ceremony’s featured speaker.

Don Gunter will receive the Distinguished Graduate Award, an honor based on academic achievement, integrity and leadership. A resident of Kingsford Heights, Gunter is a former army veteran who served in two tours during the Iraq War, rising to the rank of Sgt. 1st Class. The determination and resilience learned in the military has been key in helping him pursue his HVAC degree. He serves in his community through multiple volunteer roles, including committee chair for Boys Scouts of America LaSalle Council of South Bend.

Of the nearly 2,200 degrees and certificates to be conferred, 696 of them will be received by local high school students who earned their college credentials through Ivy Tech’s ducal credit program. This year’s total of completed degrees/certificates has more than doubled from 2018, which featured 318 credentials earned by high school students.

Across Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College will host commencement ceremonies for graduates taking place May 3 through May 17. In addition to honoring the graduates, Ivy Tech will also award honorary degrees celebrating their contributions to the college and community.

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