Ivy Tech Community College Lafayette has named several streets on the Lafayette campus to honor those who have contributed to the development of the south side campus. The individuals and surviving families were honored during a Founder’s Day celebration on September 15.
The late Alton Potts, the founding administrator of the region, served until 1978. During his tenure, the region started with literally nothing and grew to 1000 students.
The late Dr. Thomas Reckerd headed the region beginning in 1978 until his retirement in 1990. The development of the Lafayette campus began under his administration.
Joe Bumbleburg, a Lafayette attorney, was the college’s legal counsel during a land swap with the county that created the current Lafayette campus.
President Emeritus Gerald Lamkin served as the college’s President from 1983 until his retirement in 2007. The college made great strides in growth and expansion during his administration, and grew in stature throughout the state.
Dr. Robert Sorensen joined Ivy Tech Lafayette as regional financial officer in 1986. He was instrumental in developing the computer infrastructure for the campus expansion, as well as planning associated with building construction.
Kathy Vernon is a Distinguished Alumna of Ivy Tech, and has volunteered her time to the college in many roles, including her current appointment to the Regional Board of Trustees beginning in 1986.
“The students, faculty and staff are forever grateful to these Founders for the impact they have had on over 350,000 lives since the creation of Ivy Tech Lafayette,” said Lafayette Chancellor Dr. David Bathe. “Their service in establishing Ivy Tech as a quality institution of higher education has been essential to the economic vitality of Greater Lafayette, and the continued advancement of our community.”
About Ivy Tech
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.
Founders Day Biographies
Alton Potts attended Ball State University where he earned a bachelor of science degree in education and a master of arts degree in guidance and counseling, and he also completed graduate course work at IUPUI. Prior to coming to Ivy Tech, Mr. Potts had a background in public and labor relations. His first assignment at the college in 1967 was coordinator of curriculum and instruction for the central office in Indianapolis, and he was soon appointed director of the newly formed Region Four that was based in Lafayette. During his tenure, the region started with literally nothing and grew rapidly. Many new programs were launched, accreditation for the region and health programs were attained, the Ross Building and Tippy Building were leased, and plans were made for the construction of the Technology Building, now named Griffin Hall. Dean Potts left the Lafayette region in 1978 after ten years of service to rejoin the staff at Central Office. Enrollment at the region had grown to 1000 students.
When Thomas Reckerd was appointed Dean of the Lafayette region, then Ivy Tech President Glenn Sample described him as “the most knowledgeable person in Indiana in the field of vocational education.” Dr. Reckerd left a position as a full professor at Indiana State University to take the reins of the region. At the time of his appointment, the college was expanding rapidly with new degree offerings and the groundbreaking for the Technology Building in October 1979. Under his leadership, the Industrial Training Division, the precursor to Ivy Tech Corporate College, was established in January, 1983, to provide workforce training to area businesses and industries, and the associate degree in nursing program was introduced in 1986. Dr. Reckerd stepped down as dean of the region in 1990.
Joe Bumbleburg has served the college as the Lafayette Region’s representative on the Ivy Tech State Board as Chairman and Trustee. He acted as the college’s legal counsel during the land swap that created the Lafayette campus, and his efforts and commitment provided the foundation for the funding of Ivy Hall. Mr. Bumbleburg is the president and senior member at the law firm Ball, Eggleston, PC in Lafayette. He joined the firm in 1964 after serving three years with the U.S. army as an officer of the Judge Advocate Corps. He is former president of United Way of Greater Lafayette, the Community Foundation, and the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, former National Governor of the American Red Cross, and the recipient of the Harriman Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service from the American National Red Cross.
Gerald Lamkin is a native Hoosier, and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana State University. After a short time teaching in St. Louis, Mr. Lamkin returned to teach in Indianapolis schools, and earning a master’s degree in business education from Indiana State and an administrative license from Ball State. He started teaching part-time at Ivy Tech in 1967, and became a full-time instructor the following year. He later served as Dean of the Muncie region and later the Richmond region. He returned to the central office as Vice President of Administration in 1979, and became the college’s sixth President on January 1, 1983. During his tenure as President, the college made great strides in expanding college programs and campuses, constructed new academic buildings, posted record enrollments, and grew in stature throughout the state. The pinnacle of his presidency occurred on July 1, 2005 when by legislative action, Ivy Tech became Ivy Tech Community College. Mr. Lamkin retired as the college’s chief executive on July 1, 2007 and became president-emeritus.
Bob Sorensen joined Ivy Tech as the regional financial officer in the fall of 1986. He immediately began updating the region’s accounting systems. In 1990, Dr. Sorensen oversaw the design and implementation of one of the first computer/audio-visual class rooms in the Ivy Tech system. He spent a great deal of time developing the computing infrastructure for the campus expansion, as well as the planning, budgeting and accounting associated with building construction. In 2001 he went to work for the central office in Indianapolis, where he started the conversion of the college’s mainframe computer systems to a server-based system and developed a statewide network infrastructure. He completed his doctorate degree in education administration at Purdue, and taught graduate courses in that program, and continued to teach accounting in the Krannert School of Management for two years after his retirement from Ivy Tech in 2006. Dr. Sorensen continues to serve on accreditation teams for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a role he began while still at Ivy Tech. He is past president of the Central Association of College and University Business Officers, and served on the national association’s board, where he was presented the Daniel Robinson Award for contributions to the field of accounting.
Kathy Vernon is an alumna of Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette, receiving an associate degree in respiratory care in 1978. She served on the Advisory Committee for the Respiratory Care Program, and was one of the first to serve on the college’s Resource Development Council. She was the first to be named a Distinguished Alumna of Ivy Tech in 1991. She joined the Regional Board of Trustees in 1996, and is a past chair, past vice chair and past secretary. She was involved in fundraising for the development of the Lafayette campus, and currently represents the college on the Library Board. She and her husband Randy established a scholarship for radiation therapy students on the Bloomington campus. Mrs. Vernon is Executive Territory Business Manager in the Cardiovascular Division for Bristol-Myers Squibb. She served as a West Lafayette city councilwoman from 1992-1998, and was president of the council from 1996-1997. She served as a Tippecanoe County councilwoman at large from 2001-2012, and was president of the council from 2004-2005. She is currently running for Tippecanoe County Council District 3 in the 2014 election. She is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette, served as a loaned campaign representative for United Way, and had volunteered for various organizations including Almost Home Humane Society and the American Heart Association.