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David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series ongoing

Many of you have followed Late Show host David Letterman’s tributes to the Cardinals, the “fiercest robin-sized” bird in the entire world. Letterman gives back to Ball State with more than airtime on national television. His support of his alma mater is accentuating Ball State’s Emerging Media Initiative.

“The true sincerity and depth of Dave’s regard for Ball State is again demonstrated by this latest involvement in the life of the university,” said President Jo Ann M. Gora. “Our students, the broader campus community and those who study the various roles and influences of communications in our society will gain from the David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series for years to come. We are truly grateful for Dave’s generosity and continuing commitment to our students.

“We live in the Information Age. Today’s undergraduates grew up in the Net Generation. How we communicate, what we communicate, when, why and to whom is an increasingly central part of the global economy, international relations, government and politics, modern social movements and, of course, the shaping of popular culture and opinion. At Ball State, we are dedicated to extending our position of leadership in this crucial area. This gift helps move that agenda forward.”

Letterman’s bold gift helps make Ball State a vibrant campus.

The new David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series began this semester with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, speaking on emerging media’s impact on the 2008 presidential election. She was followed by Brian Storm, former director of multimedia at MSNBC.com and current president of MediaStorm.

Other speakers for 2009 are: 

Dale Herigstad is an internationally recognized thought leader on the future of media consumption in an interactive, many-screen world. He’s a leading researcher of newly emerging “gestural navigation” for computer interfaces such the Microsoft Surface. Ball State is one of the software giant’s few alpha testers of the emerging technology, and among the first universities in the nation exploring its potential for applications in education.

Jason Whitlock, a 1990 Ball State graduate who has become a respected sportswriter and analyst. His 2007 column in the aftermath of the Don Imus/Rutgers women’s basketball team controversy further thrust the former Cardinals football player into the ongoing national debate about race relations. As a result of his “ability to seamlessly integrate sports commentary with social commentary and to challenge widely held assumptions along the racial divide,” the Scripps Howard Foundation awarded Whitlock its National Journalism Award for commentary in March 2008, making him the first sportswriter to win the award and its $10,000 prize.

Ted Koppel, a winner of multiple Emmy, Peabody and DuPont Awards. Currently senior news analyst for NPR, he holds the distinction of being the nation's longest-running network daily news anchor for his work on ABC's Nightline from 1980 until 2005.

Tom Kelley, author of the best-seller The Art of Innovation and general manager of IDEO, the widely admired design and development firm responsible for giving us the Apple mouse, Palm V PDA, and other cutting-edge products and services. He will lead a discussion of “Designing for the Future” on November 5.

The precise schedules of these visits are still being planned, and details will be announced closer to the date of each event.