Harrison College Officials Come to Town to Promote Name Change

TERRE HAUTE —  The sign outside still said “Indiana Business College,” but the name inside the building had changed.

Top officials with Harrison College – formerly Indiana Business College – met with students at the school’s Terre Haute campus Monday to build support for and take questions about the institution’s recent name change.

For 107 years, the college was known as Indiana Business College. But now, because the school offers several non-business degrees and operates outside Indiana, the college needed a new name, school officials said.

“It was a major decision,” said Ken Konesco, president and CEO of Harrison College since 1986. “We’re just evolving to a new name that is being accepted in a very positive way.”

Konesco admitted he “pushed back,” when other school officials approached him about making the change. However, after thinking it over, he decided it was the right move, he said.

Harrison College is spending $2 million to let people know about the name change, Konesco said, during a meeting with about 100 Terre Haute-based Harrison College students on the school’s campus on Indiana 46 north of Interstate 70. The college has purchased four billboard ads around Terre Haute and also will advertise on television, radio and the Internet, school officials said.

“I think it’s good that they are changing the name,” said Ashley Mootherly, a medical assistant major at Harrison College. “It’s not just a business college.”

“We won’t have to tell a big, long story anymore,” said Marsha Dowell, another student in the medical field. Non-business students often had to explain why they are enrolled in a “business college,” she said. “I think the change is well worth it.”

More than half of the 5,000 students attending classes at various Harrison College campuses are earning degrees in something other than business, school officials said. There are about 250 students enrolled at the Terre Haute campus.

“I feel kind of sad about it,” said marketing and management student Delta Gordon, speaking of the name change. “I was a proud IBC student, but I totally understand why they are doing it.”

“I think it’s a very positive change for us,” said Barb Cunningham, who is studying to be a medical assistant and also studying medical reimbursement.

Officials at the college chose “Harrison” because the name carries historical significance in the Midwest. The name change will not affect tuition rates or student loans, Harrison College officials said. And students graduating in June and September may choose either “Harrison College” or “Indiana Business College” to be printed on their diplomas.

“I want [my diploma] to say Harrison,” said Tina Dillard, another student in the medical field. “I’m excited about it.” (TribStar.com)

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