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Major Gifts, Major Impact

Visionary philanthropists are helping Ball State attract renowned faculty and place our programs on a national stage.

Addressing Autism
Nationally known autism expert Susan Wilczynski came to Ball State in July 2011 as the Plassman Family distinguished professor of special education and applied behavior analysis. Formerly the National Autism Center’s executive director, Wilczynski brings new insight and innovative research expertise to campus.

Wilczynski’s career has focused on autism study and research, including a five-year research project called the National Standards Project. At Ball State, her focus is teaching, improving programs, and continuing her research on autism within the state’s only master’s program in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis in autism.

Investing in Recognition
Gifts like that of the Plassman family’s more than $1.07 million enable our campus to build upon its 40 nationally ranked or recognized programs,

which have produced 43 national scholarships and fellowships among students and recent alumni since 2005. U.S. News & World Report’s ranking Ball State eighth among “up-and-coming” colleges and universities in 2011 and The Princeton Review’s listing Ball State as one of the best universities in the Midwest demonstrate that the world has taken notice of our dedication to academic innovation and student growth.

Private donors have funded 27 distinguished chairs and endowed professorships. Key to garnering such recognitions are pioneering facilities that further transformative learning and student success. Bold campaign contributions have resulted in enhancements to existing facilities and the creation of new campus landmarks dedicated to advancing education.

A National Destination 

 The Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass

A generous $5 million lead gift from The Glick Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation established by Marilyn and Eugene Glick, spurred the creation of The Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass. Opened in September 2010, the center fosters the practice of contemporary glass arts in the region. Its studio spaces, equipment, faculty, and staff support a broad-based and dynamic undergraduate and graduate curriculum, and the center is on the path for creating a national glass destination.

The center opened in conjunction with the creation of a bachelor of fine arts degree in glass, and in fall 2011, a master of fine arts program, the first of its kind in Indiana.

Leading in Times of Change

The second floor of the Art and Journalism Building will be transformed into a multimedia newsroom as we adapt to the rapidly changing journalism industry. The Unified Media Lab will provide journalism and telecommunication students with space to work across multimedia platforms.

A $1 million investment from Mark Holden, ’81, owner of MRH Holdings LLC, is the initial gift for Ball State’s planned Unified Media Lab. The $11 million project will support a new and innovative emerging media journalism curriculum designed to prepare students in an industry that is changing at a breathtaking pace. All student media will collaborate in real time in a thriving news operation where students tear down the walls that have traditionally separated print, broadcast, and online journalism. Holden’s generosity supports our bold pledge to champion innovation.

A Lasting Gift

Ball State’s residential property management program is preparing to grow in a major way, thanks to a $1 million gift from Dean Weidner, owner of Weidner Property Apartment Homes. The gift will support the creation of the Weidner Center for Residential Property Management within the Applied Technology Building, an educational collaboration designed to catapult the program to national status. Funds will also be used to establish the Weidner Scholarship Endowment, which will grant scholarships to talented students interested in residential property management.

“Ball State’s residential property management program is proven to teach and develop in its graduates the necessary skills for this exciting career,” says Weidner, who has hired or provided internships for 15 Ball State students during the past three years. “With this donation, I’d like to expand the program as well as enable more students to attend and pursue careers in this industry.”

Generous Bold contributions have transformed our facilities: