Topics: Administrative, Board of Trustees, Alumni, President

December 4, 2023

Wm. Craig Dobbs, Ball State University Board of Trustees

Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb has appointed William “Craig” Dobbs as the newest member of the Ball State University Board of Trustees. Gov. Holcomb also announced he has re-appointed trustee Mark Hardwick to a new four-year term, which is effective through 2027.

“Craig has been a dedicated and longtime supporter of Ball State University,” Gov. Holcomb said. “He will be a great addition as Ball State continues to make impressive contributions to the future of higher education.”

Trustee Dobbs, head of The Dobbs Group and institutional consulting director at Graystone Consulting, a business unit of Morgan Stanley, earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Ball State in 1986. He has remained a steadfast supporter of his alma mater, serving in a number of roles over the years, including on the Ball State University Foundation Board of Directors, Cardinal Varsity Club, and the President’s Circle.

Currently, he serves on the Executive Campaign Council for Ball State’s “Our Call to Beneficence“ capital campaign, an unprecedented initiative to raise more than $350 million in philanthropic gifts.

In 2022, Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns bestowed Trustee Dobbs with the President’s Medal of Distinction—one of the University’s highest honors. That same year, Trustee Dobbs was inducted into the Miller College of Business (MCOB) Hall of Fame. He is also a 2021 Ball State University Theatre and Dance CRAFT Award recipient, and was presented with the MCOB Award of Distinction in 2018.

“I am grateful to Gov. Holcomb for appointing me to the Ball State Board of Trustees,” Trustee Dobbs said. “Since graduating from Ball State, it has been an honor to represent and support my university in many different roles, and I look forward to working with my fellow Board of Trustees members and President Mearns to advance the University’s strategic priorities.”

Trustee Dobbs, who earned his MBA from Notre Dame, has more than 35 years of experience as an institutional investment consultant, having worked for his present firm, Graystone, since 2009, Citi Institutional Consulting from 2002-09, and Merrill Lynch from 1988 to 2002.

In addition to his investment in Ball State, Trustee Dobbs and his wife, Teneen, support a range of religious, scientific, literary, and educational causes through the William Craig and Teneen L. Dobbs Charitable Foundation, which the couple established in 2010 along with the Children’s TherAplay Foundation in 2001.

Trustee Hardwick joined the Ball State Board of Trustees in 2020 and serves as chair of the Audit Committee. He earned both his bachelor’s (Accounting, 1993) and master’s (Business Administration, 1999) degrees from Ball State.

Trustee Hardwick, chief executive officer of First Merchants Corporation, also serves as a board member of Next Muncie, the Miller College of Business Advisory Board, and Investment Committee of Meridian Health Services. He was a member of the Ball State 1989-90 men’s basketball team, which was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2012, he was also the recipient of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “CFO of the Year” award.

“I am pleased and honored to serve another term on the Ball State Board of Trustees,” Trustee Hardwick said. “Since joining the board in 2020, our University has not only met the challenges of a global pandemic, but we have emerged even stronger. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue representing and serving Ball State and our wonderful students, faculty, staff, and alumni.”

Trustee Hardwick joined First Merchants in November 1997 as corporate controller and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In 2007, Trustee Hardwick also assumed all leadership responsibilities related to operations, technology, and risk management for the corporation. In 2016, Trustee Hardwick’s title expanded to include Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the leadership responsibilities for finance, operations, technology, risk, legal, and facilities for the corporation. In 2021, he was promoted to Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining First Merchants Corporation, Trustee Hardwick served as a senior accountant with BKD, LLP in Indianapolis.

In addition to announcing the board appointment of Trustee Dobbs and re-appointment of Trustee Hardwick, Gov. Holcomb expressed his gratitude to Ball State Board of Trustees member Matt Momper, whose term ends Dec. 31.

Trustee Momper began his service on the board in 2008, and is currently serving as chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and is board liaison to the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) and Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Committee.

“It has been an honor to serve on the Ball State Board of Trustees,” said Trustee Momper, a 1983 Ball State graduate who will be the University’s Fall Commencement speaker on Dec. 16 at Worthen Arena. “At Ball State, we’ve always had one simple promise: to challenge each other to excel. In doing so, we have seen tremendous growth in the last 15 years, and our strategic plan and its ambitious goals promises an even brighter future.”

“I am grateful for Gov. Holcomb’s re-appointment of Trustee Hardwick, and look forward to working with Trustee Dobbs. Both gentlemen are highly regarded within their industries and for years have showcased steadfast dedication to our University,” said Ball State Board Chair Renae Conley. “I would also like to express my gratitude to Trustee Momper, who has helped oversee tremendous growth at Ball State over the last 15 years and will remain a trusted advisor and close friend.”

The University’s nine trustees are appointed by the governor and responsible for the fiduciary oversight of Ball State. The board’s primary duties are to approve the strategic direction of the University, confer degrees, and oversee fiscal matters such as the University budget and tuition and fee policies.