Geoffrey S. Mearns
Brand Launch Remarks
Monday, November 6, 11:30 a.m.
Sursa Hall

‘We are going to tell the Ball State story'

We are embarking on a campaign to tell the remarkable story of this institution and the remarkable stories of its extraordinary people—you, our faculty, our staff, our students, our alumni. And we are going to tell these stories with the passion and with the prominence that they deserve.

Humility is an honorable trait in a person. We admire and respect humble people. We respect them because they embody our values. 

‘We want everyone to know that Ball State is the best option'

But when it comes to marketing a university, humility is not an asset. We need to be more forthcoming. We should not be reluctant to share our successes—to share your achievements.

We want everyone to know—not just in Indiana and not just across the country but truly around the world—that Ball State is the best option for students who want an exceptional education that prepares them to have a successful career and to lead meaningful lives. And we want to let them know that we are the university where dedicated faculty and staff produce transformational change—in people and in our communities.

‘We want to make you feel proud of Ball State'

We want to convey the distinctive character of our institution in a way that excites you. We want to make you feel proud of Ball State. And we want to motivate you, our faculty and staff, to continue to do the hard work—to continue to provide the selfless service that is required so that we can realize the full potential of this great institution.

‘The essence of our brand is the transformative experience that we provide to our students’

At its core, the essence of our brand is the transformative experience that we provide to our students. This core message consists of a few fundamental components: a visual symbol, a tagline with relevant images, and a set of key messages that convey more about this central theme. And all of these elements are crucial to our success.

Beneficence as our symbol

For our symbol, we’ve chosen to retain Beneficence. And frankly, there really was no alternative. She’s a beautiful symbol of our proud past. And Beneficence is a prominent, visual reminder that, in the future, some things won’t change. We will retain our commitment to the enduring values represented by our beloved icon. Those values include a commitment to excellence, integrity, social responsibility, respect for all people, and yes, gratitude.

But as we prepare to embark on our second century, we’ve accentuated her features. Her right hand, as you can see, which has always been open to welcome students and visitors, now reaches beyond her shield. This important but subtle change illustrates our enhanced commitment to the community, an enhanced commitment which I spoke about during my installation in September.

In her left hand, she holds a box that represents the treasure that education can offer to everyone. I believe that in these uncertain and these challenging times, we believe that knowledge and greater understanding are more important than ever. And her wings extend far past her shield. And that’s because, with Beneficence as our guide—and with Beneficence as the source of our inspiration, WE FLY.

‘We Fly’ captures the spirit of our University

These two words are the central theme of our new brand. These two simple words capture the spirit of intellectual curiosity that challenges our students, that challenges our graduates, our faculty and our staff—these two words challenge everyone in our community to excel.

On one level, these two words reflect that Ball State is ascending as an institution.

  • Our enrollment of 22,500 students is the largest in our history.
  • Our freshman class of more than 4,000 students is the most academically qualified and the most diverse class in our history.
  • Programs all across our campus, academic programs all across the University, are receiving national and international acclaim.
  • The number of degrees and credentials we have conferred increased by 20 percent in just seven years.
  • And in that same period, our on-time, four-year graduation rate has increased by 21 percentage points.

But on a deeper level, a more meaningful level, these two words—We Fly—they communicate the life-changing impact that we have on our students.