Business and Economics

Ivy Tech Gets Lift From Donation

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November 22, 2013 — Ivy Tech Community College says it has a new classroom with seats and tray tables in their upright and locked positions.

The college says it has received a Boeing 737-400 as a donation, from the Popovich Family Trust, which it will use for training and teaching opportunities.

The aircraft is valued at $1.375-million.

Ivy Tech plans to use the plane in its Emergency Response Training Lab, which opened today at the Gary/Chicago International Airport to allow Ivy Tech students to train with special instructors as part of their education.

Ivy Tech Northwest and North Central regions Chancellor Dr. Thomas Coley says, “This is a wonderful example of how a local community helps make its community college even stronger by providing the resources it needs to be successful.  There is no substitute for hands-on experience, and that’s exactly what this plane will offer our students.  The plane will allow us to provide training that we would otherwise have no way of facilitating.  On behalf of Ivy Tech Community College and its students, we say thank you to the Popovich Family Trust.”

The college says two types of training will be offered by the Emergency Response Training Lab.

First, Ivy Tech students studying criminal justice, public safety, law enforcement, and fire and emergency response will learn from seasoned professionals by observing them in training.  This training provides a simulated environment with the use of an aircraft, which differs from current training classes offered to these students.  Ivy Tech is working with outside law enforecement, fire, and emergency responder professionals to help coordinate this training program.

Second, Ivy Tech plans to have a training program for seasoned officers who potentially could get college credit for the training toward their continued education units (CEUs).  The CEU training will be made available with the assistance of Ivy Tech Corporate College. Additionally, the Corporate College is working on courses for officers to apply toward their degrees while satisfying CEUs.

The airplane is provided in its entirety by sage popovich, inc. (SPI), one of the companies owned by the Popovich Family Trust, which has been in business since 1979 and works to repossess commercial aircraft.  SPI is the world’s largest specialist in recovery of aviation related equipment.  In addition to repossessing aircraft, they offer services to provide asset management, monitor project-oriented contractual obligations, and offer expertise in other phases of airline and charter operations.

Nick Popovich is working with Ivy Tech and aircraft professionals to create an endowment fund for the airplane, with a goal between $1-million and $2-million, “My family and I established the Popovich Family Trust to fulfill our obligation to give back to the industry, to the community and to our veterans.  We accomplish this with direct scholarships, internships and assisting educational institutions, programs for children and families with special needs, and by our work with Veteran Airlift Command where we fly wounded veterans for medical treatments, unit and family reunions and memorial services.   We have high hopes for Ivy Tech and the Emergency Response Training Lab for both educational and practical training.”

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana.


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