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Ivy Tech Community College - Graffis Medical Career Scholarship Endowment

Thomas & Betty Graffis, Founders

Year Founded
2008

Founder
Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Graffis

Purpose of Fund
The Graffis Medical Career Scholarship will be awarded to individual who is enrolled in the Health Careers programming at Ivy Tech Community College Greencastle.

History
Betty and Dr. Tom Graffis aren’t Greencastle natives, but the roots that they’ve laid down in Putnam County since arriving in 1961 are deep and enduring.  It isn’t just the lengthy careers that they established here, or the fact that their dental practice provided outstanding oral care for thousands of families, or that they raised their two daughters here.  Their contributions to the quality of life in our community go far deeper than most people could ever hope to achieve. 

“Betty and I were fortunate to be able to pick where we set up our dental practice,” says Tom Graffis.  “After looking at three cities, we picked Greencastle because we liked the people and the town looked like a great place to raise a family.  And, our little daughters loved Robe-Ann Park, and said they wanted to live here.” 

Betty and Tom met in high school in Cambridge, IN, when she was freshman and Tom was a junior.  They fell in love and got married a few years later at the end of Betty’s freshman year at IU.  Tom was a junior at Purdue.  After graduating Tom served two years of active military duty then attended dental school.  During that time, Betty went to school for two years to become a dental hygienist and worked in Indianapolis.  Then, daughters, Lynette and Debbie, came along and the Graffis family became a constellation. 

Dr. Graffis’ dental practice was a “family affair.”  While Tom was meeting the dental and orthodontia needs of his patients, Betty was right there as the dental hygienist and bookkeeper, and she filled in with other duties when office staff was gone.  “I really enjoyed the people,” Betty says with a warm smile, “and being a detail-oriented person, I enjoyed the bookkeeping.”   Tom actually retired from active practice twice:  the first time in December 1993 when he sold the practice; however, he continued working for another two years so he could follow his orthodontia patients and work in the lab on crowns and other needs.

When asked why they got involved in the Greencastle community, Tom quickly offered that “our goal was to help preserve the good things about Greencastle, and to try to improve things where possible.”  Betty added, “I was raised to appreciate what our family had, and to not take it for granted.  Maybe my religious training helped guide my thinking about sharing with others too.” 

And share they have!  Tom was a founder of Operation Life and is the longest serving member of Greencastle’s Rotary chapter.  But it doesn’t end there.  He also served as president of United Way, and he’s been an active member of the Jaycees, First Christian Church, Friends of the Library. He is also deeply involved in the Putnam County Community Foundation where, as a past president and committee member, he has proudly served in various capacities for some 15 years.  Betty has been equally devoted to enhancing the quality of life in Putnam County as treasurer of PEO, as a chair, elder and treasurer at church, and as a member of Delta Theta Tau and Tea-Cups. 

Scholarship Recipients

2016

Virginia Mc llrath

2014

Rita Howe

2013
Cassandra Ewell

2012
Tara Wallace

2011
Taylor Goss

2010
Tabatha Sparks


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