Call us Knowledge Town, USA

By Mike Bennett

Few places anywhere can match the explosion of higher-education options in Richmond. We can boast about 11,000 enrollees. That’s one-fourth of Wayne County’s entire population. The large majority of those students plan to live here after they earn their degrees.

With nearly 4,000 students, Indiana University East is the fastest growing of IU’s eight campuses. It offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is adding buildings, degree options and sports programs. Privately-financed housing units are also being built. IU East shares a campus location just north of the new Reid Hospital with the Purdue University College of Technology and with Ivy Tech Community College. Purdue and Ivy Tech are both heavily involved in partner projects to help businesses develop skilled employees and managers. Ivy Tech has doubled enrollment in the last six years to more than 5,000.

Photo courtesy of: WayNet

Photo courtesy of: WayNet

Earlham College is embarking on major moves, too, in its continuing mission of providing one of the best liberal-arts educations in the world. The Quaker school that was founded in 1847 is focused on boosting student numbers by more than one-third to 1,500 and then working with them more closely within the first 10 years after graduation. It’s building a new complex for visual and performing arts, as well as adding a science library and renovating an historic hall into a welcome center.

Ironically, all three of the top institutions in Richmond have dynamic new leaders: David Dawson has led Earlham for just over a year. Steven C. Tincher has led Ivy Tech since June of 2012 and . Kathryn Cruz-Uribe was just selected as new chancellor at IU East.