INDIANAPOLIS — Ivy Tech Community College President Emeritus Gerald I. Lamkin has died at86.
Lamkin served as the president of both Ivy Tech Community College and the Ivy Tech Foundation from 1983-2007.
His role at Ivy Tech began as a part-time instructor in 1967, just four years after the college was created by the Indiana General Assembly as the Indiana Vocational Technical College.
During his tenure, Ivy Tech went from an enrollment of approximately 45,000 to over 120,000 students in 13 individual regions with no transfer degrees to one comprehensive statewide community college with 23 locations.
“Our dad lived his life to help others and always wanted to see others improve their lives. A problem solver by nature, he did not believe in the word ‘can’t’,” said Jeri Criddle, his daughter said.
Lamkin was born in Rising Sun, Indiana in 1936 and graduated from Rising Sun High School, where he played baseball, basketball and ran track. After graduating, he joined the United States Air Force.
“No single leader has had more impact on Ivy Tech than Gerald Lamkin; he was the father of Indiana’s community college system,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “His visionary leadership transitioned the College from a vocational school and positioned it to become what it is today: Indiana’s workforce development engine. His commitment to student success and serving community needs led to the College’s expansion in locations, programs, degree offerings, and transfer opportunities. As the College celebrates its 60th anniversary, we owe a debt of gratitude for Jerry’s vision and effort. Indiana’s higher education and workforce development landscape is forever changed because of him.”
Lamkin was a five-time recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor an Indiana governor can bestow, Lamkin volunteered and served on numerous community boards and organizations.
“Ivy Tech has always been a big part of our family and we hope to continue our father’s legacy by creating more scholarships for students and staff. Nothing would make him more proud than for his family and friends to continue to support a cause that was most important to him, helping others to succeed,” said Criddle.