PCF conducts commencement ceremony for 269 offenders

Thursday, June 21, 2012
Participating in the Putnamville Correctional Facility commencement recently are (from left) Thomas Hogan, Charles Hawkins, Dr. Ken Brauchle, Lea Anne Crooks, Dr. Ann Valentine, Sherry Clark, Brent Roark, Beckie Bennett, Tim Phegley, Harley Crabb, Ernie Rush and Barbara Holcomb.

PUTNAMVILLE -- A June 11 commencement program at the Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF) recognized 269 offender graduates of Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana State University.

The commencement opened with remarks by PCF Assistant Superintendent Beckie Bennett.

"I'd like to welcome all of the visitors and congratulate the graduates for their achievements," she said. "You should be very proud of the accomplishments that have led to you being here today."

Keynote speaker Dr. Ann Valentine, Ivy Tech chancellor, offered words of encouragement and also congratulated the offenders on their accomplishments.

"I hope that you continue with your education and put what you've learned to good work," said Valentine, whose comments were followed by inspirational remarks by Lea Anne Crooks, executive director of Ivy Tech.

During the ceremony, graduates were recognized for their successful completion of academic and vocational programs, such as GED, Culinary Arts, Horticulture, Auto Technology, Business Technology, Equine Management and associate and bachelor's degree programs.

GED teacher Thomas Hogan presented the graduates, and degrees were conferred by Brent Roark, Ivy Tech education program director, and ISU Dean of Extended Learning Ken Brauchle.

Special recognition was given to Indiana State University honor graduates of the bachelor's degree program. Recognized were Indiana residents offenders Trevor Thompson, from Avon, magna cum laude, and cum laude recipients Paul Banton of Lafayette, Jack Chitwood Jr. of Bloomington, Ethan Pennington of Sheridan and Jeffrey Rodriguez of Indianapolis.

Immediately following the ceremony a reception was held for the graduates and their guests, catered by Culinary Arts students.

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