User:Martin Osterman/Ball State University

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Ball State University
Motto Beneficence
Type Public
1965 reorganization of:
Ball State College
Established 1961, reorganization (full separation) of:
Ball State Teachers College
Established 1927, partially separated from:
Indiana State Normal School
Established 1918
President Jo Ann M. Gora
Administrative staff
Students 20,113
Undergraduates 18,528
Postgraduates 1,585
Location Muncie, IN, USA
Campus small city: 1,035 acres (4 km²)
19 Division I / IA NCAA teams
Colors Cardinal (red) and Cream (white)
Mascot Charlie Cardinal

Ball State University is a public state-run university in Muncie, Indiana. Located on the northwest side of Muncie, Ball State's campus spans over one thousand acres with several expansion projects either underway or in planning to increase the size still further. One of Indiana's smaller public universities, Ball State has a student body of almost 20,000 undergraduate students and over 1,500 graduate students. Originally a teaching college, Ball State has grown and expanded over the years to become a rounded University.


Ball State University was founded in Muncie in 1918 after the donation of land west of town by the Ball Brothers. Ball State opened its doors for the first time in June of that year with an initial enrollment around 400 students. Its primary purpose was to serve as a teaching college for the Midwest. The University's first years were relatively slow in terms of expansion; enrollment by 1941 had climbed to approximately 1,600 students. Following World War II and due in part to the large number of veterans who had accepted the G.I. Bill, expansion took on a much swifter rate. The College received official University standing in 1965 with an enrollment of 10,066 students.

For the first half of the University's history, as a college, the school remained fairly isolated from the rest of the academic world. Teachers hired into the school were from around the Midwest, and the school itself professed to be a teacher's college for Indiana and the Midwest first and foremost. It wasn't until the 1960s, with promotion of the school to official "University" status, that Ball State began to grow academically. Programs expanded, and more teachers were hired from across the nation in response to this. Thus, the school which had been dubbed the "Little Commonwealth" was now expanding into the modern world.

Ball State has seen a trend of near-constant growth since it's creation. Current enrollment is the highest in the school's history, prompting construction of a new residence hall slated to be completed in 2007-2008. Bachelor's degrees are available in eight different areas which contain over fifty individual programs -- a sharp increase from the five programs that the University initially offered bachelor's degrees in. Despite current uncertainty in the economy, Ball State's academic future is considered by many to be bright as the University continues a course of upgrading programs and adding new ones where applicable.

Muncie from the west. The university is the stretch of buildings in the lower left quadrant.

Past Presidents[edit]

(1) Wagoner's presidency is considered to be an "interim" presidency as his title during this time was "acting president" and he also retained his position as controller and business manager of the University.


Though previously a bastion in the field of teaching, the University has been recognized in many fields, including teaching. Some highlights of Ball State's programs include:

  • The University's Entepreneurship program has been ranked in the Top 5 of all colleges for it's undergraduate entrepreneurship program for the last three years in a row, according to the US News & World Report magazine.
  • According to the 2006 edition of the same magazine, Ball State has one of the best undergraduate business programs in the nation.
  • The 2005 edition of Almanac of Architecture and Design named Ball State one of the top ten colleges in landscape architecture.
  • Ball State is the administrator to Burris Laboratory School. The school, which opened in 1929, is one of few schools in the nation to be created and maintained by a university for the purpose of giving teachers hands-on experience in the classroom directly.
  • The University is also the administrator for the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities. The Academy is one of the oldest schools for gifted/talented high school juniors and seniors in the nation and provides University faculty an additional resource in research and hands-on experience.


Ball State competes in the NCAA Division IA and is part of the Mid-American Conference. Official School sports are as follows:

Charlie Cardinal is Ball State's anthromorphized cardinal mascot. He is sometimes referred to on campus as simply "Charlie."

Campus Life[edit]

Ball State's Shafer Tower, completed in 2001

Residence Halls[edit]

The University operates 7 residence halls and two apartment complexes. An eighth residence hall is due to be completed in 2007.

Of the current residence halls in operation, one, Elliott Hall, has been in operation for nearly the entire history of the University. Constructed in 1929, Elliott was formerly an all-male dormatory and, during World War II, housed cadets and recruits from joint programs operated with the Army and Air Force. The remaining residence halls were built from the 1960s onwards in response to a growing influx of students.

L.A. Pittenger Student Center[edit]

Constructed in the mid-1950s, the Student Center houses the University's hotel, meeting rooms, a food court, and various forms of recreation for students including a bowling alley. A new student center is in planning, but no word is expected on it until the end of 2006.

The Village[edit]

Although this is considered off-campus, the Village plays an integral part of campus life for students who both live on- and off-campus. The Village is a set of shops and restaurants located immediately east of campus. Although most of the buildings have been rebuilt over the years, the Village has existed in its present location since the early 1920s.


Campus Facts (2003):

  • Area: 1,035 acres (4 km²)
  • Buildings: 67

Notable Alumni[edit]

Points of Interest[edit]


  • Edmonds, Anthony O., & Geelhoed, E. Bruce, Ball State University: An Interpretive History, Indiana University Press, 2001, ISBN 0253340179

External Links[edit]

MIVA Conference Category:Universities and colleges in Indiana