Topics: Administrative, College of Applied Sciences and Technology, College of Architecture and Planning, College of Communication Information and Media, College of Fine Arts, College of Sciences and Humanities, Honors College

December 10, 2014

Ball State University’s 172nd Commencement will feature special events, including the investiture of Dr. Paul W. Ferguson as the school’s 15th president.

The ceremony, set for 10 a.m. Dec. 13 in Worthen Arena, will honor 1,149 candidates for doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees, which will be conferred following the formal investiture of Dr. Ferguson as president.

President Ferguson began his service to the school in August, and the investiture ceremony, which has roots dating back to the Middle Ages, is the formal process by which the university’s campus community welcomes the new president and the Board of Trustees publicly delegates authority to the President. President Ferguson has requested a limited investiture in lieu of a more formal inauguration in order to reallocate funding to a new Centennial Student Fellowship Program that he will describe at his first State of the University address in February 2015.

“I’m honored to share the stage with these remarkable students who have worked diligently to complete their degrees,” President Ferguson said. “They represent the promise of the future and the pursuit of excellence. I extend my sincere congratulations to the graduates and their families for their accomplishments.”

Following the investiture, President Ferguson will honor Paul W. Parkison, professor emeritus of accounting, with the President’s Medal of Distinction.

Parkison,’58 MA ’61, taught accounting at his alma mater for 35 years, including serving 29 years as his department’s chairman. President Ferguson said Parkison’s professional acumen and his unwavering dedication to his students make him a sterling example of Ball State values.

“Under the leadership of Professor Parkison, Ball State’s accounting program became one of the most respected in the Midwest,” President Ferguson said. “But like every great professor, he views his profession as a calling. In my few months at Ball State, I have met many alumni who have shared with me how much they appreciated his guidance and mentorship, which continued long after they graduated. I am pleased to honor his service and impact on so many by presenting Professor Parkison with the President’s Medal of Distinction.”

Commencement ceremonies are free and open to the public, and no special tickets are required. For more information, visit