Ivy Tech Community College will celebrate more than 1,800 graduates from its Lake County, Valparaiso and Michigan City campuses at commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 11.
The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. in the Athletics-Recreation Center at Valparaiso University on the campus, located on U.S. Hwy. 30 at Sturdy Road.
Students earned nearly 2,700 degrees and certificates during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Kara Monroe, Ivy Tech statewide provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, will be the featured speaker. The Lakeshore Quartet will provide music during the ceremony.
Mechell Hardiman, Andrew Bochnicka and Maggie Burgdorf will receive the Distinguished Graduate awards for their respective campuses. Hardiman was active in organizing events for Student Government and Culinary Club at the Lake County campus and overcame homelessness to earn her degree in hospitality. Bochnicka, who is earning a business degree, served as president of the KBD Honor Society and the Gay Straight Alliance at the Valparaiso campus and organized a cleanup effort at Porter Beach. Burgdorf will receive a degree in medical assisting and was honored with the Award for Excellence for Outstanding Career and Technical Education Student from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education
Each campus also will recognize a Distinguished Alum. This year’s honorees are: Steven Schroers, Lake County, information technology manager for Lake County’s 911 Center: Joel Troxel, Valparaiso, a CPA and owner of JET Consulting Services Inc.; and Brenda Stellema, Michigan City, who is with the Court Appointed Special Advocates agency and was instrumental in starting the Court Appointed Youth Advocate program.
Audra Peterson, director of Career and Technical Education for LaPorte County and principal of the A.K. Smith Career Center in Michigan City, will receive an honorary degree.