BSU News You Can Use: by Pres. Mearns

January 13, 2021

Our Ball State University football team has achieved great success in recent weeks.

The Cardinals won the Mid-American Conference championship on December 18. And on New Year’s Eve, our team won the Arizona Bowl, the first bowl victory in our University’s history.

This month, the players and coaches also appeared in an episode of “Peyton’s Places,” a football-themed documentary hosted by Peyton Manning. You can stream the episode—which features Ball State alumnus David Letterman—on ESPN+. I invite you to join me for our January 15 virtual watch party (see details below).

I am proud of our team’s achievements, and I am especially grateful for our student-athletes’ commitment to health and safety protocols this Fall. Their discipline allowed our season to happen.

On the field and in our classrooms, our entire student body has thrived during an unprecedented pandemic. Our students, faculty, and staff have all committed themselves to our University’s enduring value of social responsibility and to our Cardinals Care Pledge.

We define social responsibility as our collective and individual obligation to behave in ways that are in the best interest of others in our communities.

Our Spring semester begins on January 19. I am confident that our students, faculty, and staff will renew their dedication to social responsibility and our Pledge, and they will continue to do their part to mitigate the risk of transmission of the virus on campus once classes resume. To ensure we get off to a good start, students are fulfilling our requirement to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus.

Below are a few more stories that I hope you will enjoy and then share. Let your friends and colleagues know how “We Fly” at Ball State.


Geoffrey S. Mearns
Ball State University

News to Use

Join the “Peyton’s Places” Watch Party, January 15

Join President Mearns on January 15 as he hosts a virtual watch party for the episode of “Peyton’s Places” that features the Ball State campus, football team, and alumnus David Letterman.

“Peyton’s Places” is a football-themed documentary series hosted by longtime Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and produced by the NFL Network in collaboration with ESPN. Manning and Letterman visited campus on October 20 to film. The episode involves Letterman suggesting humorous changes to the NFL rulebook as the Ball State football team—under Manning’s direction—tests them.

Director of Athletics Beth Goetz and Head Football Coach Mike Neu will join President Mearns for the watch party. Everyone in the Cardinal community is invited. You do not need an ESPN+ subscription to join the party and watch the episode.

December Was a Season of Generosity

In December, the University announced two substantial gifts from alumni.

A $2.8 million gift from Charles W. Brown will fund the new Brown Family Amphitheater. This outdoor performance venue and gathering space will enrich arts and cultural opportunities for the campus and Muncie community.

The Teachers College received a $1.45 million commitment from alumna Michelle Ryan and her husband, Jim. Their gift is the single largest donation to Teachers College in its history and will fund scholarships for students from diverse and economically challenging backgrounds.

Congrats to Judge Mario Garcia

A Ball State University graduate will become the first judge of Hispanic heritage to serve the Southern District of Indiana.

Mario Garcia was selected for the position of Magistrate Judge on the U.S. District Court for Indiana’s Southern District, a new judgeship created by the Judicial Conference of the United States. Garcia received his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and criminology from Ball State in 1995.

Listen to the Unity Week Speaker

On February 2, Civil Rights Activist Cheryl Brown Henderson will speak about the legacy of the landmark desegregation Supreme Court case Brown v. The Board of Education via Zoom in honor of Ball State’s Unity Week.

Brown Henderson is one of the three children of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, of Brown v. Board of Education. Her lecture, “Brown v. The Board of Education: The Legacy Continues,” begins at 7 p.m. on February 2 via Zoom. To watch the speech, look for a link on the Unity Week events webpage.

Students Logged Significant Volunteer Hours

Data recently released by Ball State’s Student Voluntary Services (SVS) indicates the student population was generous with its time during the Fall semester, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to SVS, as of mid-December, 494 Ball State students logged more than 7,512 volunteer hours at 55 partner sites during the semester.

BSU Foundation Hires New VP for Advancement

The Ball State University Foundation has hired veteran fundraiser Ray Allen to serve as Vice President for Development.

As Vice President for Development, Allen will help lead all major gift activity for the Foundation.

Allen has more than 25 years of fundraising experience. He comes to the Foundation from the University of Central Florida, where he served for eight years, most recently as Executive Director for Advancement for Colleges and Units.

Athletics Staff Will Support March Madness

Ball State University has been selected as a host institution for the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, which will solely be held in venues across Indiana.

This does not mean games will be played at Worthen Arena. Instead, Ball State will lend staff to assist with tournament operations at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, home of the Indiana Pacers.

Order Your Cutout for Worthen Arena

With the football team having recently won the program’s first bowl game on December 31, it’s a great time to be a Cardinals fan.

Let’s keep that enthusiasm alive for the Winter sports. Even though fans can’t physically attend Winter athletic events at Worthen Arena, you can still get in on the action with an official cardboard cutout of your likeness for the stands.

Purchase one for you, a friend or family member, or even a four-legged Cardinal fan. Order your cutout.

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