Ball State University on Dec. 7 will celebrate its expanded presence in the Fort Wayne, Ind., community with “An Evening with Ball State at Electric Works.”

This free event is from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday at Electric Works, 1030 Swinney Ave., Fort Wayne, IN 46802. Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns and David Ferguson, dean of the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) and professor of Landscape Architecture, will make remarks at 5:30 p.m.

“At Ball State, we are dedicated to serving our neighbors and communities—including our more than 14,000 graduates living and working in the Fort Wayne area,” President Mearns said. “Through Ball State at Electric Works, and other upcoming endeavors, I am grateful to be expanding our University’s footprint in the Northeast Indiana region.”

Ball State at Electric Works, a dedicated office within Electric Works’ coworking space, will be a place where students, faculty, and staff, primarily from CAP, will continue working with partners in and around Fort Wayne to accelerate the growth and prosperity of the Northeast Indiana region.

Located in the sprawling mixed-use Electric Works development, at the historic site of the former General Electric campus in Fort Wayne, Ball State at Electric Works will be a catalyst of meaningful partnerships between Ball State and local community and industry leaders. The studio will provide an on-site base for a variety of CAP projects in Fort Wayne and throughout Northeast Indiana, and will involve many of the college’s disciplines that include Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, and Construction Management and Interior Design.

CAP’s involvement at Electric Works is also expected to be a catalyst for other Ball State colleges to leverage their expertise in the Northeast Indiana region, with future opportunities currently being explored in the healthcare and education fields.

“Ball State and the Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning want to be a part of Fort Wayne’s future and its trajectory from a design and planning standpoint. We’re here to actively participate,” Dean Ferguson said. “Fort Wayne is a place that is innovative and filled with the entrepreneurial spirit. We’re here for the long haul, and we’ve got backing from many of our alums. And we’re happy to be at Electric Works.”

Through a Ball State Immersive Learning project, and with guidance from faculty advisors, CAP students will learn in this hands-on, real-world experience. Each semester’s project will vary. A studio class will be paired with a real-world project that is based in the Fort Wayne area; in many cases, area industry firms will advise the classes. The space at Electric Works can serve as a meeting place for classes, with conference rooms and large-group spaces available as needed.

According to Dean Ferguson, at least one class during the upcoming Spring 2023 semester will be exploring potential changes and growth opportunities along Fort Wayne’s Broadway corridor, which connects the Electric Works campus to the city’s downtown district.

CAP has also established a fund for a scholarship that will support the work of selected students in future studio projects. Fort Wayne-based firms and individuals contributing to this fund are MKM Design, Design Collaborative, Martin-Riley, Elevatus Architecture, MSKTD, and Matt and Lisa Momper.

Ball State has more than 14,000 alumni living in Northeastern Indiana, including several hundred CAP graduates—many of whom worked directly on the multi-million-dollar Electric Works mixed-use development led by Ancora Partners. Fort Wayne native and 1991 Ball State CAP graduate Jeff Kingsbury is a principal at Ancora.

The University will engage with its alumni in Northeast Indiana to explore ways to jointly serve Allen County and its surrounding communities. To this end, Ball State will continue mobilizing and leading partnerships with local industry leaders that can be beneficial to the future of the region.

Ball State University has a noted track record of engaging with industry partners to bolster students’ educational experiences and better serve Indiana,” said Jeff Eads, director for Industry Engagement at Ball State. “We are thrilled to work with employers and community leaders in and around Fort Wayne to help the Northeast Indiana region flourish.”

‘An Evening With Ball State at Electric Works’ Itinerary / Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2023

• 3-4 p.m. — Student Engagement Exhibit / GE Club, Building 23: R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) students will be exhibiting their work created through engagement with the neighborhood adjacent to Electric Works.

• 4-5 p.m. — Customer Experience Excellence (CXX) Workshop / Building 27A: Greg Zirkle, director of Executive Education in the Miller College of Business, will provide this free training to preview the University’s Executive Education offerings. In this interactive session, participants will learn the key drivers of customer experience, begin mapping their organization's own customer touch-points, and leave with actionable insights to apply.

• 5-7 p.m. — Reception / The Forum, Building 27A: Starting at 5:30 p.m., hear remarks from Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns and CAP dean David Ferguson. President Mearns and Dean Ferguson will be available for media interviews following the conclusion of their remarks.