FRANKLIN – The Ivy Tech Community College Foundation has received an estate gift valued at $3.5 million from the Bill and Sandy DeMichieli Trust. This gift gives Ivy Tech full ownership of the existing William and Sandy DeMichieli Learning Center that houses the Ivy Tech Franklin Campus, and provides additional funds designated for programming and scholarships in health sciences.
Ownership of the building gives Ivy Tech access to another 9,000 square feet for build out of additional classrooms and labs. The estate funds will allow the College to add some of the space and equipment necessary to add health sciences courses, as well as other relevant offerings for local employers in the future.
“Bill and Sandy were both visionary people and wanted to find a way to give back to their community. They saw the value in providing higher education opportunities in a community,” said Dr. Kathy Lee, Chancellor for Ivy Tech Central Indiana. “They worked hard to provide for their families and wanted to provide those opportunities to other citizens in their own community. Their generosity will be felt by thousands of students over many years to come.”
Ivy Tech began leasing the building from Bill, a 30-year resident of Franklin, in 2008 when increased demand for more classes in the Franklin area allowed the College to pursue a larger space. The first lease and renovation provided 12,000 square feet of classroom, lab and office space. The demand for more classes allowed Ivy Tech to quickly lease and build another 9,000 square feet. Ivy Tech has delivered classes to thousands of students at the Franklin Campus.
Ivy Tech Franklin offers five associate degree programs in Liberal Arts, Criminal Justice, Business, Education, and Informatics (Computer Support). Students can also take many of their general education courses required for any degree, and transfer to another Ivy Tech campus or a four-year college. During the spring 2015 semester, Ivy Tech Franklin delivered more than 100 courses to 630 degree seeking students. Additionally, Ivy Tech Corporate College offers training and courses to several local companies.
Bill and his wife, Sandy, expressed a strong connection to Ivy Tech and the mission of the College. In 2008, they set up Ivy Tech nursing scholarships, as a result of being cared for by Ivy Tech nursing grads during their illnesses. The scholarships have provided funding for tuition to numerous Franklin students.
“Bill was a fascinating person. He had the best stories about his business ventures over the years. He was modest about his accomplishments, and honest about his failures. He saw himself in many of our students as they work hard and endure obstacles in pursuit of their education,” said Tina Gross, campus president for Ivy Tech Franklin. “This generous gift will provide the foundation for Ivy Tech to continue to expand programming at the Franklin campus.”
Bill was an engineer by trade and Sandy worked in human resources for most of her career. In addition to working for Boeing for several years, Bill became a successful entrepreneur, owning restaurants, racing teams, commercial real estate, and car dealerships.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. 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 the needs of its communities. In addition, its courses and programs transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.