The Ford Center hosted its first commencement ceremony Friday night.
Ivy Tech Community College-Southwest celebrated the achievements of more than 820 students.
The college says that's a record number of graduates, up 18% from last year.
Among those graduates, at least 20 displaced workers, several from whirlpool, who now have a college degree.
"You can lose your house, you can lose your job, you can lose your career but tonight, they're going to have something that no one can take away from them. They're going to be a college graduate in a hopefully a path that they want. They chose their own destiny and they have fulfilled it," said Ivy Tech Associate Professor Scott O'Daniel.
Former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel gave the commencement address.
Saturday, the University of Evansville will hold its commencement at the Ford Center at 1:30 p.m.