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Gary Hoffman to receive ECC honorary degree

Gary HoffmanGary Hoffman, a lifelong resident of Iowa Falls, began serving Ellsworth Community College in 1976 as a member of the Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors. After 10 years on the IVCCD Board, Hoffman was asked to continue serving Ellsworth by joining the Ellsworth College Board of Trustees. In recognition of his more than 40 years of service, Hoffman will be the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Agriculture (honoris causa) degree at this year’s annual ECC commencement ceremony on Friday, May 5.

“The Trustee’s income is spent for the benefit of the students and the College,” Hoffman said. “That’s the purpose of the Board of Trustees, anything we can do to enhance the College and support the students is exciting.”

“It’s an honor to have been involved during the time when Ellsworth went from being a junior college to a member of Iowa’s community college system. The growth of the student body, faculty and the improvements and additions to campus facilities has been great for the College and the community,” Hoffman said. “It’s been exciting to be a part of the expansion of ECC with the Hamilton Campus, student housing and other projects.”

In addition to serving ECC, Hoffman has served on the Iowa Seed Association State Board of Directors, the Iowa Crop Improvement Association, Iowa State University Committee for Agriculture Development, Board of Directors of the Buckeye Co-op, the Hardin County Board of Adjustment and is an active member of the Iowa Falls First United Methodist Church.

Hoffman graduated from Iowa Falls High School then went on to attend Iowa State University where he completed a two-year program in agronomy and farm operations. After college, he served in the Air National Guard before returning home to take over the family farm and seed business. In 1961 he married his high school sweetheart, Karla (from Alden). Hoffman expanded the family seed business from a neighborhood business his father started in the 1930’s to a business that operated across Iowa and Southern Minnesota.  In 1995, the Hoffman seed business was sold and he continued to farm until 2002 when they began renting the land land to others.  He and Karla moved to Iowa Falls and are enjoying their retirement. Gary and Karla have two daughters, Teresa and Sherrlyn, and five grandchildren.

The honorary degree will be presented to Hoffman during the ECC commencement ceremony on Friday, May 5, at 2 p.m. in the Dittmer Gymnasium on the Ellsworth campus in Iowa Falls.

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