Topics: Emerging Media, Alumni, Scholarships

May 7, 2010

Acknowledging the emergence of Ball State as a center for excellence in emerging media, Angela Ahrendts, Burberry CEO and Ball State alumna, has led the creation of a $1 million scholarship fund at her alma mater.

Burberry established the fund in concert with Ahrendts delivering Ball State's Commencement address on May 8.

"This fund marks an important step for Burberry in its wider efforts to give back to the markets and industry in which it operates," Ahrendts said. "I am particularly delighted that we will be working with Ball State to cultivate the next generation of talent in disciplines that are at the heart of the Burberry brand, from digital media to marketing and merchandising. Ball State's emphasis on fostering excellence and creating opportunity represents a wonderful fit with Burberry's own values, and we are looking forward to helping to give the talented students of the program the best possible start to their careers — just as Ball State did for me."

The fund will comprise $500,000 from Burberry, the iconic British global luxury brand, and $500,000 from Ball State, a leader in the field of emerging media. It will provide 25 four-year scholarships of $40,000 to students entering Ball State over the next four years with an emphasis on merchandising, design and digital media.

"In this day and age, it's not uncommon for universities to pay to secure well-known commencement speakers," Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora said. "So it's absolutely refreshing that our own high-profile speaker, Angela Ahrendts, an international business icon, is here because she and her company have chosen to invest in our students, our university and our commitment to pioneering emerging media."

Scholarships will be awarded as part of Ball State's Bold Celebration Scholars program as well as a new Burberry Emerging Media Scholars program. The new program builds on the strengths of Ball State's Digital Corps and its Emerging Media Faculty Fellows.

Leading emerging media efforts is not new for Ahrendts, who grew up in New Palestine, Ind., and credits her Hoosier roots as a key to her success. Burberry, which was founded in 1856 and is a member of the FTSE 100, has a global reputation for pioneering digital technology. It recently gained attention by beaming its runway show from London Fashion Week live and in 3-D around the world and by becoming the first luxury brand to attract more than 1 million fans on Facebook.