A gift from Ball State alumnus and digital media executive Timothy M. Andrews will help make Ball State University’s new Multicultural Center as welcoming as possible for minority students who are also members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Andrews is president and chief executive officer of the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) in Philadelphia. He graduated from Ball State with a journalism and economics degree in 1984.
The endowment created by the substantial gift will fund a graduate assistantship within the Multicultural Center to study LGBTQ+ issues with a focus on the intersection between LGBTQ+ studies and the BIPOC community (Black, Indigenous, and people of color).
“I certainly never felt privileged growing up, since I was fed by Food Stamps and kept healthy by Medicaid,” he explained. “But I’ve grown to understand that as a white male who happens to also be gay, I have a responsibility to use my privilege to be an ally for people who aren’t like me and especially for those who need extra support early.”
The new 10,500 square-foot Multicultural Center will open in late spring or early summer in the heart of campus. Ball State University and the Ball State University Foundation are acknowledging the gift by naming the center’s first-floor lobby in recognition of Andrews.
While the gift will support research and scholarship, Andrews said his primary objective is to help contribute to an affirming culture for everyone at Ball State.
“Multiculturalism and a sense of understanding are core to the University’s mission,” he said. “That speaks to me. I hope the new Multicultural Center and this graduate assistantship will help students see Ball State as a place that is welcoming, where there are allies, where there are people who want nothing but to create a better life for someone else.”
Andrews has a record of philanthropy in Hope, Indiana, where he grew up, and in the community of Princeton, New Jersey, where he has spent the past two decades. This is his first significant gift to his alma mater.
Andrews credits a meeting with President Geoffrey S. Mearns in New York City in recent years for rekindling a strong personal connection to Ball State and for inspiring a sense of optimism about the University’s future.
Mearns said that Andrews’ gift is an example of how Ball State alumni, students, faculty, and staff are guided by beneficence, a spirit of generosity and social responsibility modeled by the Ball Brothers and embodied in the university’s iconic Beneficence statue.
“Tim’s generosity makes all of us in the Ball State community proud,” Mearns said. “His gift reaffirms the University’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and contributes to the momentum and excitement on campus as we anticipate the opening of the new Multicultural Center.”
Upon graduating from Ball State, Andrews joined Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, where he served 16 years as an editorial, product marketing and technology development executive. His final role there was as president and chief executive of a Dow Jones-Reuters joint venture serving media customers in 40 countries. He joined ASI about 18 years ago and led the transformation of the largely print business into a digital and events business platform with 450 employees and a global network of 25,000 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $25 billion promotional products industry.
“All of us should think about what is important to us and how we can give back,” Andrews said. “There are people in need all around us.”