Former First Lady Laura Bush in Warsaw

By Megan Trent


4 photos

October 6, 2011 Updated Oct 6, 2011 at 5:47 PM EST

WARSAW, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Former First Lady Laura Bush emphasized literacy and education at Warsaw's Ivy Tech campus dedication Thursday.

After years of renting space, a ribbon cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the $16M campus.

All eyes were on former President George W. Bush's wife as she thanked those responsible for the achievement and offered encouragement to the campus' more than 1,300 enrolled students.

"Community colleges play an important role in providing opportunities to students of all ages and all professional types of experience," said the former First Lady. "Community colleges are what really gives us the chance to have a skilled workforce."

The campus offers the world's largest orthopedic manufacturing center at 20,000 sq. ft.

Ivy Tech is the nation's largest community college, with more than 170,000 enrolled students in Indiana alone.

The former First Lady is scheduled to give a speech about education at Grace College in Winona Lake at 7:15 Thursday night.

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