Important steps were begun in April 2007 to consider formation of a Ball State University alumni group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In his first contact with a Ball State representative since graduation in 1980 with a master's degree in economics, Dr. Abdulwahed K. Al-Humaid, Deputy Minister in the Saudi Ministry of Labor, recalled with pleasure his student days in Muncie. Though he ranked second among all Saudi high school graduates in 1970/71, Al-Humaid had not decided where to begin graduate studies when he first came to the USA. "It was Dr. Mohammad Ali Khayyat ('78 MAE'79 EDD) who called me during my intensive English study to join him as a student at Ball State", said Al-Humaid, commenting that his time in Muncie was "the best period of my life". His personal collection of photographs taken from his student days are treasured items. Now responsible for the Saudi Manpower Council, Al-Humaid has had a distinguished career beyond public service as a respected journalist. In his current role, Al-Humaid serves on a government committee which sends Saudis to study in the U.S.
International Advancement director Martin Limbird was the honored guest with three key Ball State graduates to discuss future alumni activities in the capital city.
Dr. Abdullah Ba-Eshen '76 MA hosted the luncheon which also included Sulaiman Al-Enezi '93 MA, and Abdulaziz Rasheed '82. Ba-Eshen is Country Partner/Managing Partner for Ernst & Young in Riyadh; Al-Rasheed is Vice Chief Executive Officer with the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia, and Al-Enezi is a professor at the Institute of Public Administration. Among the topics discussed were organizing summer courses in Muncie for Saudi families as well as formal establishment of a BSU alumni group in Riyadh. A meeting with Dr. Al-Humaid to seek his insights was proposed.