December 17, 2015
Guests and graduates at Ball State University’s 175th Commencement will have a new way to receive information about, and connect with, the ceremony on the big day.
Get event info, watch live video of the ceremony, see a list of local restaurants, and more.
The just-released Ball State Commencement app, available for Apple and Android cell phones and tablets, is free to download and offers answers to frequently asked questions such as: Do I have to buy a ticket for the day? (No.) Other information, including local restaurant options, is offered as well. For family and friends unable to attend in person, the app links to the web stream of the event.
The ceremony, set for 10 a.m. Saturday in Worthen Arena, will honor 1,158 candidates for doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees. The web stream will begin at 9:35 a.m., with the student processional set to step off at approximately 9:30 a.m.
John Seffrin, the recently retired chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, will be the main speaker. Seffrin, a 1966 Ball State alumnus, also will be awarded the President’s Medal of Distinction.
“Commencement is among Ball State’s greatest traditions, so we take great pride in the variety of accomplished alumni and exciting personalities who deliver the commencement address to our new alumni each semester,” said Ball State President Paul W. Ferguson. “Dr. Seffrin has been a true and tireless champion in the fight against cancer during his professional career. We look forward to hearing about his firsthand experience in leading this fight against a disease that touches the lives of nearly every one of us and to acknowledge his successful efforts with the President’s Medal of Distinction.”
Seffrin served as the organization’s top executive from 1992 to 2015, after 20 years as a volunteer, but his first encounter with the disease dates to his childhood. His grandmother, who was living with his family at the time, died of cancer when he was only 10 years old. He has since lost his mother to cancer, and his wife of nearly 50 years, Carole, also a 1966 graduate of Ball State, is a breast cancer survivor.
Under his leadership, the American Cancer Society became the global cancer leader it is today, with $1 billion in resources to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures and by fighting back through legislation and rallies. As CEO, Seffrin made the organization’s voice heard in legislatures across the country and in forums worldwide, and he did not shy away from a fight, especially if the foe was the tobacco industry.
Seffrin holds a bachelor’s degree from Ball State, a master’s degree in health education from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in health education from Purdue University.
Before being named the American Cancer Society’s top staff executive, Seffrin served at Indiana University as a professor of health education and chairman of the Department of Applied Health Science. Following his retirement, he joined the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington faculty as a professor of practice. He has been a member of the Ball State University Foundation Board of Directors since 2004.