Benefactor Awards

The Foundation’s mission is to partner with donors to invest in Ivy Tech Community College students, faculty, and programs to build stronger communities and a better Indiana. Our success depends on the support of generous benefactors who give of their time, talent, and treasure to support its mission.

Ivy Tech Foundation annually honors an individual, corporation, or foundation that has changed the lives of our students and the communities in which they live, learn, and work by providing exceptional philanthropic and volunteer leadership. This award celebrates the gifts and volunteer service the recipients have bestowed on the college.

2018 Benefactor Award Recipients

Phil Bane and the Bane Family
Lafayette and Terre Haute

In 2012, Phil Bane and his company, Bane-Welker, LLC, helped build the agricultural technology center on the Lafayette campus and donated funds to finish the inside of the structure. In addition, they generously loaned equipment for usage on the farm. Through Phil and the Bane family's commitment, both the Lafayette and the Terre Haute campuses have high-quality agricultural programs that would have otherwise not been possible.


Belden, Inc.

Belden has been a long-time contributor of many initiatives for Ivy Tech Richmond, including gifts of scholarships for tuition and books, unrestricted giving and technology program support dating back as far as 1985. A leader in the community, Belden is addressing the devastating impact of addiction and how it has affected the workforce by partnering with Ivy Tech Richmond and other community service agencies in Pathways to Employment, an initiative for creating opportunities for change and a stronger workforce.

Dr. Mary Jo Dentino

Prior to retiring from Ivy Tech Community College Evansville in 2013, Dr. Mary Jo Dentino served as dean of the School of Business, program chair of office administration, interim dean of student services, dean of the School of Technology, and vice chancellor of academic affairs. The 2003-2004 Glenn W. Sample Award winner, she has taught hundreds of students and mentored dozens of faculty and staff.


Sidney and Lois Eskenazi

In the early 1960s, Sidney Eskenazi formed an Indianapolis partnership focused on real estate development. Today, Sandor Development Company – named after their two daughters, Sandy and Dori – has a robust portfolio of shopping centers throughout a significant portion of the United States. Sidney and Lois harnessed their professional successes to help others, and over the years have become recognized philanthropic leaders in Central Indiana.


Rebecca Gardenour

Becky initiated the Leonard Gardenour Scholarship for criminal justice students, in honor of her late husband, who was the chair of the Sellersburg criminal justice program. After his passing, the campus dedicated a room to Leonard for his long-time commitment and dedication to Ivy Tech and our students. In addition to her planned gift, Becky contributes annually to ensure that a student will always receive assistance for his or her education.


IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital
Anderson, Muncie, and Marion

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital has provided a $1 million gift to Ivy Tech to continue to grow its medical programs. The Ivy Tech Health Sciences wing, which will be housed on the fourth floor of the Fisher building in downtown Muncie, has been named the IU Health School of Health Sciences. IU Health Ball Memorial has made a lasting impact on the College and Muncie as a whole through its partnership and expertise.

Donna Kessler, Calhoun Street Soups, Salads, and Spirits
Fort Wayne

Donna Kessler, the owner of Calhoun Street Soups, Salads, and Spirits and D’lightfuls, plays a vital role in the success of “A Reason To Taste,” a premier fundraising event at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. She embodies the core values and spirit of Ivy Tech and received an Ivy Tech Honorary Degree for her commitment, dedication and individual contribution to the College, the Fort Wayne Campus, and our community.


Randy Maxson
South Bend / Elkhart

Throughout his career, Randy has served as faculty, department chair, executive dean, vice chancellor/dean and executive director of institutional effectiveness. Through his various roles, he diligently worked with faculty, staff, and outside contacts to encourage and motivate others to support Ivy Tech. Randy has set a wonderful example for all staff, faculty and students.


Robert Mullen and Dianna Delgado

Robert Mullen and Dianna Delgado not only support Ivy Tech financially, but also give of their time. Their interest in community college students is rooted in Robert’s career as a professor at Northern Kentucky University. Due to family circumstances, Dianna was not able to further her education after high school, so she wants to make sure that regardless of students’ circumstances their dreams can be realized.


Northern Indiana Public Service Company
Lake County, Valparaiso, and Michigan City

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is the largest natural gas distribution company and the second largest electric distribution company in the state. A long-time friend of Ivy Tech, NIPSCO has supported special events and donated to capital campaigns and specialized campus programs for over 28 years. NIPSCO employees have also invested in Ivy Tech and its programs, seeing its potential for residents of northwest Indiana and beyond.

Premier Companies, Harold Cooper

Premier Companies is a farmer-owned cooperative founded in 1927 that prides itself on customer-focused success. Premier Companies has been an advocate for Ivy Tech’s agriculture program by participating in our Advisory Board and being involved with Strategic Planning for Ivy Tech Columbus. They are well respected in the agriculture industry, and their advocacy and support has truly been impactful to this program.

TASUS Corporation

TASUS has been a consistent and generous financial supporter of Ivy Tech Bloomington for over 26 years. Contributing both to capital projects and event sponsorships, this Japanese-owned company is also committed to serving the College through volunteer leadership, advocacy, and promoting the unique role Ivy Tech plays in growing and sustaining our regional workforce.

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