Geoffrey S. Mearns
Centennial Celebration Remarks
Thursday, September 6, 7:30 p.m.
Emens Auditorium

'To dream bold dreams'

Our University began with the dream of five industrious brothers who wanted to create a college in Muncie … The previous attempts to start a college in Muncie did not deter the Ball brothers. They were temporary setbacks that they were determined to overcome.

As we celebrate our 100th anniversary, we share our pride in our founders’ achievements. As a result of their vision and their generosity, we have gathered as a community to kick off the yearlong celebration of our Centennial.

'A history of gratitude'

Many things have changed in the first 100 years of our University. But what remains a constant is our history of gratitude—a history personified in this beautiful symbol of our proud past, a symbol that will guide us into the future.

A century ago, it was the generosity of the Ball brothers who provided the land for this institution. But it was the generosity of the people of Muncie that sustained and grew their vision to bring higher education to east central Indiana.

'Valuable, real-world experience'

We are about to enjoy the premiere of one of our Centennial projects: our student-produced documentary, From Normal to Extraordinary: Ball State’s First Century … A project of this size and of this scope requires a lot of talent and skill. And it requires thousands of hours of hard work. Some universities would hire a film company to do this work. But at Ball State, we entrusted this critical responsibility to our students.

What makes a Ball State immersive learning experience like this one so valuable is that it is a real-world experience that is comparable to those that await our students once they graduate.

Every day I am proud to serve as president of Ball State. But on nights like this one, when I witness the extraordinary impact of our education, I am most proud to serve as the president of this outstanding University.