Topics: Alumni, College of Communication Information and Media, Administrative

October 18, 2012

Ball State alumnus Mark Holden has given his alma mater $1 million, which will enable the university to build the Holden Strategic Communications Center and launch an innovative Unified Media Lab. Both of these projects are on the leading edge of how journalists, public relations and advertising professionals do their work.

Construction on the Holden Strategic Communications Center (Holden SCC) will begin in February 2013, with completion scheduled for May. Students will begin using it next summer, and it will be incorporated into class work that fall. 

"We are excited to partner with Ball State and its outstanding faculty to continue to advance and invest in new programs and ideas, which is one of the things that make Ball State so great," Holden said. "The university has done so many innovative things very successfully, and we believe in the leadership and the unified media curriculum. The spirit of the university is very contagious, and my wife and I view this as an investment in the university, the faculty and the students. We're thrilled with this opportunity."

The balance of Holden's gift will be used to launch work on the first phase of the ambitious and innovative Unified Media Lab, at the end of the spring semester. The proposed UML would eventually cost about $6 million to fully complete.

The Holden SCC and the UML are further examples of Ball State's innovative curriculum driving pioneering facilities. Other examples are the Taftali Center for Capital Markets and Investing, and the Glick Center for Glass. Ball State is known for providing outstanding educational support through unique facilities.

The new and necessary mandate within the profession of journalism is: join or die. Collaborative journalism is the way forward in an industry fraught with slashed budgets, broken revenue models and fragmented audiences.

Ball State University is uniquely positioned to offer its media students an outstanding journalism education that embraces integration in philosophy and practice. A groundbreaking curriculum and commitment to independent student media ensures that Ball State's media graduates lead the transformation of journalism throughout the rapid changes to come.

The proposed facilities will foster a collaborative mindset for students from the very beginning of their Ball State media experience. Skills training in a shared real-world environment will give students both the aptitude and attitude needed to create opportunities where others see daunting challenges.

"Employers are snapping up Ball State graduates because our students are getting the hands-on experience today's journalism, advertising and public relations business want and need," said Roger Lavery, dean of the College of Communication, Information and Media. "These students are prepared not only for the way business is done today but have the skill set to adapt to the needs of the future."

Constructing these innovative facilities gives Ball State the opportunity to gain expertise in understanding unique facilities and provide outstanding value to the industries they serve.

By Joan Todd, Executive Director of Public Relations