Graduation ceremonies will be held Saturday at Hodges Field House, a tradition that culminates the school year. This year's commencement speaker is Dr. Rudolph P. Galask. Galask graduated with an AA degree from Fort Dodge Junior College in 1954. He then continued his education at Drake University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts. In 1964, he received his M.D. degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. He also holds a master of science degree in microbiology from the University of Iowa College of Medicine.
Galask may be one of the most important and respected doctors in the field of women's health.
As another successful year winds down, we will convey 1,138 degrees to the graduates and 271 GED certificates.
As I reflect on the past year, several highlights come to mind.
In July, Garland Hanson received the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees Quarter Century Award for his service to the Iowa Central board of trustees and his community.
August brought the grand opening of the Student Resource Center, which houses the library and student success center, bookstore, student center and Triton Zone Cafe.
Iowa Central's fall enrollment increased 5.1 percent to 6,204 students.
The BioScience and Health Sciences Building was awarded the 2010 Siemens Industry Inc. Smartest Building in America Award.
September brought another first to Iowa Central as we held our first Friends and Alumni Homecoming weekend. Iowa Central inducted 11 people into the inaugural Triton Hall of Fame. John Dodgen, Rudolph Galask, M.D., Jerry Patterson and Donald Decker were honored for their outstanding achievements by being inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. Paul Shupe, Ron Hallstrom, Joe Wayne Cole, Kati Jo Ruby-Moore and Justin Sokol were the first class inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The late Dr. Mary Sula Linney was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award.
We will hold our second Homecoming event Sept. 24 and 25 and again will honor Iowa Central outstanding alumni, athletes and a humanitarian. Nomination forms are available online.
The Higher Learning Commission completed its review process and Iowa Central Community College received continued accreditation for 10 years.
Coach Dennis Pilcher picked up his 700th career basketball victory, becoming only the 18th coach in NJCAA history to win 700 games. He was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
The Fine Arts Department had a spectacular year, showcasing strong student talent, as they produced "Welcome to Four Way" in the fall and "Hairspray" as the spring musical.
After the Iowa Central men's indoor track team secured an indoor national championship and the women's team placed third, the NJCAA named Denny Meyer Indoor Track and Field Head Coach of the Year.
Spring brought the announcement of another enrollment increase in credit hours and student head count. This announcement made a record 35th consecutive semester of growth.
Creating valuable partnerships is something Iowa Central Community College has been successful with. Two partnerships I would like to highlight: Iowa Central partnered with the Iowa Workforce Development and the U.S. Department of Labor to build comprehensive training programs to help workers who have been laid off to re-enter the work force with new skills. We expanded our business partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim by developing training programs to advance the skills of their employees.
After receiving its BQ-9000 accreditation, the Iowa Central Fuel Testing Laboratory has begun fuel testing for the Iowa Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Bureau. The lab has provided timely and affordable testing to ensure quality and consistency of motor vehicles fuels including biodiesel, diesel, and biodiesel blends, as well as ethanol and ethanol blend testing.
Next Saturday we will say goodbye to our graduates and wish them well as they begin their new journey.
On Monday, we will begin to focus on the next school year by preparing to welcome new students to campus and the Fort Dodge community, finalizing new programs to address work-force shortages, and by refining work-force training programs to address the needs of employers in our region.
Dr. Dan Kinney is president of Iowa Central Community College.