The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club

A warm-weather learning escape with a Ball State twist!

For the second year, Ball State alumni, faculty, and friends will gather for an engaging, uplifting educational day in the warmth and sunshine of beautiful Naples, Florida. Winter College taps the expertise and passion of Ball State’s finest alumni and faculty while providing the opportunity for education, stewardship, hospitality, camaraderie, shared memories, and—most importantly—lifelong learning.


Friday, February 7, 2020


The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
851 Gulf Shore Boulevard North
Naples, Florida 34102

Winter College 2020 Schedule

11:30 a.m.

Registration, conversation, and lunch
12:45 p.m.

Welcome and Opening Speaker
"Empowering America's Students and Teachers"

Vince Bertram, '91 MAE '98 EdS '01 EdD '06

2 p.m.

"Authentic Community Engagement and the Development of Culturally Responsive Future Teachers"

Eva Zygmunt

3 p.m.

Conversation between film and TV producer Martha De Laurentiis and Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns

Martha De Laurentiis, '74

4 p.m.

"Mindfulness Matters! The 5 'P's' to Optimize Your Health!"

Betsy Opyt, '99, RD, LD/N, CDE

5:30 p.m.

Your Ball State: Proud and Loyal
Cocktail reception and dinner with a University update from President Mearns

Black Alumni Weekend

Thursday, October 19 | 7:00 p.m.
The BSU Black Alumni Council will host a happy hour at the Havana Cigar Lounge Bar in Fishers.

Saturday, October 21 | 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Join all your friends and reconnect with your classmates! BSU Black Alumni Council will be at the Homecoming Reunion Row tailgate in front of the Alumni Center. Food and drinks will be available at CharlieTown, right next to Reunion Row!

Saturday, October 21 | 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Join the Black Alumni Council for the Black Alumni Reunion! Join us in the Alumni Center Assembly Hall after the football game.

Register Now


Featured Guests and Speakers

Vince BertramVince Bertram is president and CEO of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading provider of PK-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. In 2014, Vince was appointed by the U.S. Department of State as the education expert for its Speaker and Specialist Program, and in 2018, he was appointed to the Congress-approved STEM Advisory Panel. He is the author of two New York Times bestselling books on education. His honors include the Ball State Distinguished Alumni Award and the Distinguished Hoosier Award.
Martha DeLaurentiisMartha De Laurentiis is an award-winning film and television producer, most recently of NBC’s critically-acclaimed television series Hannibal and the feature film Arctic, starring Mads Mikkelsen. After graduating from Ball State, she produced a series of Stephen King adaptations—from Firestarter to Cat's Eye—and co-founded the De Laurentiis Company, which has produced over 40 successful films and miniseries, including Red Dragon and Hannibal—both starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. Martha oversaw the development and construction of three major film studios, both domestically in North Carolina, and abroad in Morocco and Australia.

Martha has devoted herself to improving the conditions of impoverished women and children around the world; she has worked for Save the Children for almost 20 years and is currently a trustee. She is also currently a board member of the Ball State Foundation.
Betsy Opyt is the owner of Healthy Concepts Consulting & CEO of Healthy Concepts Food Company. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in dietetics and is a licensed and registered dietitian as well as a Certified Diabetes Educator. 

Betsy started her own healthy food company, Betsy’s Best, specializing in gourmet nut and seed butters seven years ago. Her gourmet butters have now expanded to 39 states and over 2100 stores. She is also a professional speaker and writer. She has been featured in various TV shows and publications, including People magazine. Currently in the process of writing her first book, Betsy’s main drive is to motivate others to make positive changes in their health.
Eva ZygmuntDr. Eva Zygmunt is the Helen Gant Elmore Distinguished Professor of Elementary Education and co-director of the Schools Within the Context of Community program of teacher preparation at Ball State University. Dr. Zygmunt is the co-author of the book Transforming Teacher Education for Social Justice (Teachers College Press, 2016). She is also the current co-director of Ball State’s Alliance for Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation, a network of teacher educators committed to the development of community-engaged, socially-just, and equity-focused future teachers.