Dave at Ball State

Students who camped out overnight for tickets to Dave at Ball State got their chance to see one of Ball State’s most accomplished alumni Nov. 30. David Letterman returned to Ball State to a full house at Emens Auditorium. He appeared on stage with acclaimed filmmakers Spike Jonze and Bennett Miller. The trio discussed their lives and their careers, as well as pulling two theater students on stage to reenact a scene from the movie Cabin Boy.

Before the conversation, Letterman announced a major gift that will benefit students for generations.

About David Letterman

In 1965, an unknown teenager from Indianapolis sat in front of his college radio station’s microphone and began playing the worst songs he could find and concocting fake news stories. That was before he became known as the quick-witted host of the longest-running late-night talk show and one of the most influential television stars of all time.

David Letterman has never let go of Ball State over the decades. On The Late Show with David Letterman, he consistently doted on his alma mater—routinely referring to cardinals as “the fiercest robin-sized bird in the animal kingdom.” But his commitment to the university goes much deeper than what he has said on his show.

David Letterman

Letterman Scholarship

Students receive thousands of dollars every year from David Letterman’s scholarship program for telecommunications students. The award focuses on creativity over grades. The winner receives $10,000, with another $5,000 going to a first runner-up and $3,333 for a second runner-up.

Letterman Building

To honor David Letterman’s commitment to his alma mater, Ball State chose him as the namesake for the David Letterman Communication and Media Building. The facility houses offices for the College of Communication, Information, and Media, as well as classrooms for the telecommunications and communication studies departments.

Letterman Lecture Series

While here for the dedication ceremony of the building named after him, Letterman made one of his biggest contributions to the university. The result was a lecture series that has brought some of the biggest names in the media and communications to Ball State: Rachel Maddow, Angela Ahrendts, Biz Stone, and Oprah Winfrey, to name a few.