Laura W. Bush to headline Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute in spring

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Press release from Ivy Tech:

Laura W. Bush to headline Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute in spring

(Bloomington, Ind.) Mrs. Laura W. Bush will headline Ivy Tech Community College’s seventh annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service next spring in Bloomington.

Ivy Tech-Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart says that there is no one better fit to discuss the topic of literacy than Mrs. Bush. “Ivy Tech is honored and pleased to provide the public an opportunity to hear Mrs. Laura W. Bush’s expert remarks on literacy and education,” he said. “As a leader of youth literacy initiatives, Mrs. Bush has dedicated her life to changing lives, and we are confident that our featured speaker will bring life and light to issues of local, national and global concern.”

Mrs. Bush will headline the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service fundraising dinner on April 8, with proceeds benefiting the Ivy Tech Center for Civic Engagement (

Mrs. Bush is actively involved in issues of education, health care and human rights. As First Lady, she visited the Women’s Teacher Training Institute in Kabul, Afghanistan, which is training women to lead classrooms that girls were once forbidden to enter. Mrs. Bush convened a Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development, and is a proponent of teacher recruitment programs like Teach for America, The New Teacher Project and Troops to Teachers. She leads former President George W. Bush’s Helping America’s Youth initiative. Mrs. Bush joined the Library of Congress in 2001 and launched the first National Book Festival, which draws more than 120,000 book enthusiasts from across the nation to Washingtons D.C. In 2006, Mrs. Bush hosted leaders from around the world for the White House Conference on Advancing Global Literacy, which led to her current role as Honorary Ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade.

The O’Bannon Institute ( was launched seven years ago by Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus as an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss government, volunteerism, nonprofit organizations, education and political participation. The Institute has since become the college’s signature event, emphasizing the transformation of Ivy Tech into a comprehensive community college.

Past O’Bannon Institute’s have featured speakers Doris Kearns Goodwin, Eugene Robinson, Senator George McGovern, Senator Birch Bayh, Senator Alan Simpson, Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, journalist Sam Donaldson, campaign strategist Paul Begala, and Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon.

For more information about Ivy Tech’s annual O’Bannon Institute please contact, (812) 330-6001 or email

Ivy Tech Community College ( is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and one of the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college systems with more than 130,000 students enrolled 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 community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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