Topics: Alumni, Inclusive Excellence, College of Sciences and Humanities

June 7, 2021

Ashley Ford
Photo by Sylvie Rosokoff


This Fall, Ball State University will welcome back to campus graduate Ashley C. Ford for a writer-in-residence program that will allow her to share her work and to interact with students and faculty, as well as engage with the campus and local communities.

Ms. Ford is the author of “Somebody’s Daughter,” a powerful new memoir that explores her life coming of age in Fort Wayne, Ind., with a single mother and an incarcerated father. The book was published June 1 by Flatiron Books under the imprint, An Oprah Book. Ms. Ford will join Oprah Winfrey in conversation for a virtual event at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9. Tickets for the event include a hardback copy of the book and are still available for purchase.

Ms. Ford spent 10 years writing “Somebody’s Daughter,” which Winfrey describes as “a remarkable memoir” that will move readers. Kirkus Reviews calls the book “one of the best memoirs of 2021” and Poets & Writers magazine has described Ms. Ford as “one of the most prominent voices of her generation.”

Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns said he is proud of Ms. Ford’s professional success, and he looks forward to welcoming her back to Ball State this Fall. 

“Ashley is a talented writer and an inspiring role model whom we are fortunate to call one of our own,” Mearns said. “I am grateful that she is willing to return to campus to share her time and her talents with so many of our students, our faculty, and our staff, along with members of the community. We are all very proud of her.”     

Ms. Ford was the keynote speaker at Ball State’s Fall 2018 Commencement, the same ceremony in which she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University. In her remarks, she praised her professors, attributing much of her accomplishments to the support she received during her undergraduate career at Ball State.

During her return visits to campus, Ms. Ford will participate in activities that include class discussions, a reading from her memoir, a book club discussion, and a conversation with President Mearns. Dates and times for her public events will be announced at a later date.

Ball State’s writer-in-residence program is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of Inclusive Excellence, the Multicultural Center, and the departments of English and African-American studies.