English has been part of Ball State University since the beginning, and the department has grown and evolved as a basic component of every Ball State student’s education and a cornerstone English program.
- Our doctorate in English with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition is one of the oldest established programs in the United States—and our graduate degree in creative writing is rather young; our first students enrolled in 2001.
- The Writing Center has been helping student improve communications through peer tutoring since 1966.
- Since the 1960s, the university's Writing Program has evolved into arguably the core of the University Core Curriculum.
- The teacher-to-teacher Indiana Writing Project, founded in 1986, was Indiana’s first affiliate of the National Writing Project.
- The English course The Making of Americans was one of the first courses to run at the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry (VBC) in 2000. Rai Peterson’s seminar, helped to successfully initiate immersive learning at Ball State. Peterson and her 12 students investigated modernist figures such as Gertrude Stein, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Einstein and the role that these figures played in the modernist movement in Paris during the 1920s. She recalls talking frequently with Joe Trimmer “as he shaped the goals for the center along with John Worthen (former Ball State University president), Warren Vander Hill, (former director of the honors program and former Ball State provost and vice president for academic affairs) and prominent civic leader Virginia Ball.”