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Retired Kokomo businessman Steve Johnson supports Ivy Tech transformation

New Ivy Tech conference room named in memory of Patricia Johnson

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IN MEMORY OF PATRICIA – Members of the Johnson family include, left-right, Beth Szerdy, Lori Fritts Warren, Steve Johnson, and Neal Johnson. Steve Johnson has donated $25,000 to the Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus Transformation Project in memory of his late wife, Patricia Johnson.

KOKOMO, Ind. — For retired Kokomo businessman Steve Johnson, Ivy Tech Kokomo’s #THETIMEISNOW capital campaign was a perfect opportunity to support what he considers the great work of the College and to honor the memory of his late wife, Patricia Johnson.

Education was an important part of Pat’s life. She earned a secondary education degree, with honors, from Indiana University Kokomo in 1969, majoring in English and Literature, and followed that with a master’s degree in education in 1971. She taught at Lafayette Park School and Kokomo’s downtown campus for 26 years. She was recognized as one of the best English teachers in the Kokomo school system, known for her sense of humor and compassion for her students.

And now, seven years after her death, her family is honoring her legacy of student support by the naming of a major conference room in Ivy Tech’s new Health Professions Center.

For Steve, who retired after a long career with E&B Paving, contributing to Ivy Tech Kokomo’s transformation made sense. “Ivy Tech supports business and industry in our community,” Steve said. “I understand that Ivy Tech seeks to understand the needs of businesses and then works to arrange the curriculum that will meet as many of those needs as possible. And that’s a good thing!”

The blended Johnson family includes five adult children: Steve’s sons, Neal Johnson, who lives in Indianapolis, and Matt Johnson, who lives in Fort Worth, Texas; and Pat’s daughters, Beth Szerdy and Lori Fritts Warren, who both live in Kokomo, and her son, David Fritts, who lives in Fishers. All are Kokomo High School graduates, like Steve, for whom education is an important interest.

“Steve has been a great supporter of Ivy Tech,” said Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of resource development for Ivy Tech Kokomo. “With his long career in the construction industry, Steve has taken a real interest in the campus transformation. He has checked on our progress regularly and has shared his enthusiasm for the amazing difference being made by #THETIMEISNOW project.”  

conference room

CHAT CHAIRS – Johnson Conference Room overlooks Ivy Tech Kokomo’s new quad.

The new conference room is part of the $43 million transformation project currently under way on Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus. Along with a $40 million appropriation from the State of Indiana, Ivy Tech’s #THETIMEISNOW campaign is working to raise an additional $3 million in contributions from area residents, organizations, and businesses to complete the project. To find learn more about the campaign and its impact, contact Kelly at kkarickhoff@ivytech.edu or 765-252-5501 or go to www.ivytech.edu/kokomotransformation .


The Johnson Conference Room occupies a prime location in Ivy Tech Kokomo’s new Health Professions Center. As the new building’s primary conference room, it’s found on the second floor, at the top of the main staircase from the Atrium. Offices for Nursing and Health Sciences faculty are nearby; across the hallway are classrooms and labs for everything from Medical Assisting to Surgical Technology to Paramedic Science.


The room includes a large conference table seating 12, a large built-in credenza, white board, and state-of-the-art technology, but most eye-catching is the view. With floor-to-ceiling windows making up its west wall, the conference room offers a sweeping vista of Ivy Tech Kokomo’s new quad looking across to campus’ transformed Main Building.


Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Service Area serves Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, and Tipton counties, including the communities of Kokomo, Logansport, Peru, Rochester, and Tipton.