May 4, 2019
During today’s Commencement ceremonies, Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns urged the Class of 2019 to create a better world, and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb asked the new graduates to use their world-class education to create the next big thing in the Hoosier state.
“Professional success and career fulfillment are not the same,” President Mearns told the 3,200 new graduates. “People generally equate success with financial rewards, with impressive titles, and with notoriety or fame. Those are external indicators of success, and I fear that you may very well find that they are temporary and hollow.
“So, I encourage you to seek fulfillment. Set professional goals that will make you and your families and your friends proud of your professional contributions — because your contributions have improved the lives of other people. That impact is enduring. I also encourage you to pursue a life of meaning. Life is a gift — a precious gift. And to lead a meaningful life, you should share that gift with people who need you.”
From the stage of Worthen Arena, President Mearns also urged the graduates to remember the University’s Beneficence Pledge and to help create a better world.
“Through your character and commitment, please help us create a world that is more peaceful and more just,” he said. “We believe in that brighter future, because we believe in you.”
Governor Holcomb also congratulated the graduating class for a good sense of timing in picking the University’s Centennial year as their shining moment to walk across the stage.
“In the 202-year history of Indiana, there’s never been a better time to be a Hoosier — or a Cardinal perhaps is more fitting — than right now,” said Holcomb, who noted his close ties to Ball State, partly through his wife, Janet, who earned two degrees from the University. “And that’s due in large part to the University, and the incredible mark Ball State graduates have made on our state.
“Your impact is everywhere, and we need more of it! In short, we need you.”
Governor Holcomb then urged the new graduates to stay in Indiana.
“Do what the Ball brothers did 100 years ago and find a way to make our state better,” he said. “You already earned a world-class education in Indiana. And now you can begin a meaningful career and create the ‘next big thing’ right here.”
Also during the ceremony, 100-year-old Lucina Ball Moxley, was presented an honorary doctorate of arts. The Indianapolis resident is the granddaughter of William C. Ball, one of the five Ball brothers who founded the University a century ago.
“In honoring you today, Ball State University recognizes your lifetime accomplishments as a musician, educator, and patron of the arts,” President Mearns said. “And with this award, we also recognize the historic contributions of the members of your family — a family whose vision and generosity continues to transform the lives of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni.”