Topics: Administrative, Alumni

June 29, 2009

In recognition of his 43 years of dedicated service to Ball State, the university's Board of Trustees has approved the naming of the newest residence hall on campus in honor of Thomas J. Kinghorn, who is stepping down from his post as vice president for business affairs and treasurer on June 30. He will remain with the university for the next three years in a part-time capacity as executive assistant to the president for commercialization and community engagement.

Previously referred to during its construction phase as North Hall (because of its geographic location on campus), the $35.6 million Kinghorn Hall will open to approximately 600 students in fall 2010, becoming the third new or extensively renovated residence facility to open on campus in four years. The DeHority Halls complex will reopen this coming August following a one-year, $19.7 million renovation project.

During his more than four decades at Ball State, Kinghorn, a 1965 and '66 alumnus of the university, was a guiding force in the construction of 17 new buildings and other major structures on campus as well as the renovation of another 26 facilities. They represent almost half of the university's physical landscape as it is known today. All the more fitting, then, that the university should want to pay "lasting tribute" to Kinghorn's many contributions by naming its newest building in his honor, said Tom DeWeese, board president, who with President Jo Ann M. Gora and fellow board member Hollis Hughes Jr., board secretary, announced the designation of Kinghorn Hall at a recognition dinner saluting the long-serving campus executive June 26 in Ball State's Alumni Center.

Noting that Kinghorn already had served his alma mater in a variety of administrative positions for 21 years before his own appointment to the board in 1987, DeWeese praised Kinghorn for his "inspired commitment and vision" over such a long period of time, something he characterized as "increasingly rare in our world today."

Sound stewardship

Gora also lauded Kinghorn's leadership, citing among other attributes his "sound fiscal stewardship," his "enduring concern" for the students, faculty and staff at Ball State and his "tireless work [that] has left the university in a great position to meet the educational needs of this new century."

Addressing the assembly comprised of many of Kinghorn's colleagues, classmates, family members and friends, Gora said, "You all know what a challenging financial period this country is currently facing. Fortunately for Ball State, Tom's long-term financial planning has enabled us to meet the challenges of the present and the future simultaneously."

To illustrate, Gora indicated that no money for the extensive renovations now taking place inside Pittenger Student Center is coming from state funds; rather, it is coming from renovation funds carefully accrued and managed by the university over the years. She congratulated Kinghorn, as well, for initiating the Ball State's Work Life programs in 1990, providing employees with resources for child and elder care, and his championing of the Working Well program the university unveiled in 2007 as part of its strategic plan for promoting a healthier campus community (including its move to a smoke-free environment).

Also singled out by Gora were Kinghorn's efforts to provide tuition remission for employees' families and health-care insurance for Ball State retirees, the latter an especially valuable benefit among universities in this day and age.

"These advances, along with Ball State's offering of TIAA-CREF (retirement options) to its employees — another effort Tom spearheaded — have enabled us to recruit and retain the best faculty and administrative staff, nationally and even internationally, even in these challenging economic times," concluded Gora.