Maple Farms Agriculture Classroom part of new Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus

Last Updated on April 30, 2021 by Ivy Tech Kokomo

SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. — For the Maple family of Howard County’s Maple Farms, Ivy Tech Community College is a critical component of a successful Kokomo and the surrounding communities – and they’ve put their time, talent, and treasure into supporting the College and its students.

Two of the Maple brothers, Mark and Scott, joined by wives Marcia and Cheryl, were on Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus recently to look at the results of its $43 million transformation and the classroom funded by Maple Farms to support students in the Agriculture program.

“Although there are several Purdue University degrees on our farm, we are also passionate about the mission of Ivy Tech,” Mark said. “Because of its low tuition cost and its proximity, Ivy Tech provides opportunities for many students who, for a variety of reasons, may not be able to go to a four-year university.”

Mark understands the value of a two-year degree; he helped Purdue develop its associate degree in agriculture in the 1970s and was one of its first graduates. “It’s a way to get into an occupation you really love without having to invest in a four-year degree,” he said.

Since 2019, Mark has represented agriculture as a member of the Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus Board of Trustees, one of nine trustees charged with guiding the chancellor and his administration in best meeting the needs of the five counties served by the region – Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, and Tipton.

“As a board member, I see Ivy Tech working to support students and help them complete their educations,” Mark said. “They work to make sure students come back and finish their degrees. It’s a credit to the talent we have here on staff.”

The family’s involvement in education here is deep and lengthy. Mark and Scott’s sister, Jane Horner, taught Early Childhood Education at Ivy Tech before going on to her current position with Cass County Purdue Extension. Cheryl was a nurse educator at Ivy Tech for 10 years before she retired and Marcia retired after working 30 years for the Kokomo School Corporation. Both Marcia and Cheryl are members of Circle of Ivy, a women’s philanthropic organization that supports Ivy Tech students, and Mark and Marcia participate in Ivy Tech’s Florida Friends group.

“I loved teaching here,” Cheryl said. “Affordability is important for sure and our students were wonderful to work with. Our nursing department has staffed so many of the local hospitals with top-notch nurses, an important contribution to our community.”

Scott said he’s always been a big believer in Ivy Tech. “I was asked to be on the committee when Ivy Tech was first setting up the Ag program here,” he said. Mark and Marcia’s son Ryan was in the first Ag class at Ivy Tech Kokomo and was able to transfer all the credits he earned here to Purdue where he completed his bachelor’s degree.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from Purdue, Scott spent 12 years teaching ag classes in area high schools before joining the family farm, earning a master’s degree in education from Purdue along the way. He is a former member of the board at Taylor Community School Corp., where Mark, Scott, Marcia, and the Maple children attended, and regularly serves as an adjunct instructor in Ivy Tech’s Ag program. He says he can’t wait to teach in the Maple Farms classroom.

“Most ag students are from rural settings. They grew up on farms. At Ivy Tech, they can get their feet wet in the world of higher education,” Scott said of Ivy Tech’s Ag program. “And they are so varied. Out of eight students in my class last semester, one graduated from high school in 2019 and another in 1977 with everything in between. You don’t see that on a four-year campus. Everyone of all ages and backgrounds is comfortable here.”

Along with the Maple Farms family contribution, Scott has served on the steering committee for Ivy Tech Kokomo’s #THETIMEISNOW campaign, encouraging others to donate to the effort to raise $3 million in community contributions to complete the campus transformation.

“The Maple family is such an integral part of Ivy Tech Kokomo’s success,” said Dean McCurdy, chancellor of Ivy Tech Kokomo. “Through their many efforts, we are strengthening our connections to our communities and working to better serve our students.”

For more information on the $43 million Kokomo Campus transformation and the campaign to raise $3 million in local support, contact Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of resource development for Ivy Tech Kokomo, at kkarickhoff@ivytech.edu or 765-252-5501 or go to the campaign website at ivytech.edu/kokomotransformation . For information on Ivy Tech Kokomo’s Agriculture program, contact Lisa Paxton at lpaxton2@ivytech.edu or 574-398-6096.