Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

MC Weekly

December 30, 2013

RAY MOSCOWITZ: Theresa Murphy brings a lot to Ivy Tech in Peru

Experience informs her understanding of the challenges students face.

Theresa Murphy and Ivy Tech Community College go together like bagels and lox.

As executive director of the Peru Instructional Site, Murphy brings extensive job experience to what Ivy Tech’s website says is “the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system.”

When I arrived in Indiana in 1964, Ivy Tech was a narrowly defined vocational institution. Now, according to the website, Ivy Tech’s mission is to prepare Indiana residents “to learn, live and work in a diverse and globally competitive environment by delivering professional, technical, transfer and lifelong education.”

Murphy, 44, is perfectly suited to carry out that mission. She has been working as executive director in Peru since 2009, having started with Ivy Tech in Kokomo in 2000.

“My professional path leading to my current position has not been a straight one,” she says. “But I do believe that each position in which I’ve worked has helped me end up here. …

“Although I did not know this is where I would end up when I started my professional career, I know that I am where I belong. I am passionate about my work and the mission of Ivy Tech Community College.”

Born Theresa Lovegrove in Manassas, Va., while her father, Jeff, was in the Army, Murphy was just 3 months old when her family returned to its roots in Kokomo. Brother Chris, now 42, and sister Angie, now 36, would come along.

Her father was a skilled tradesman, working in tool and die at Delco/GM/Delphi in Kokomo. Her mother, Pam, toiled on the assembly lines there and later in an engineering office.

Murphy graduated from Northwestern Junior-Senior High School in 1987 and enrolled at Ball State. After her freshman year, she started working — as office manager at Carriage Manor Flowers and Gifts in Kokomo — and hasn’t stopped.

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