MUNCIE – Ball State University has announced an ambitious $20 million capital campaign, Cardinal Commitment: Developing Champions, to fund improvements and expansion of facilities critical to athletic success. The George and Frances Ball Foundation already has committed $3 million in support of the campaign’s goals, which will benefit student-athletes, the university and the local community.
Private support generated by the campaign will be invested in facilities that will help student-athletes compete at the highest intercollegiate level. They include:
· a dedicated Court Sports Practice Facility for men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s volleyball, including a large practice area, new basketball locker rooms, and renovated and expanded volleyball locker rooms
· a new Ballpark Complex for softball and baseball that will include new press boxes, dugouts and grandstands as well as a team room, officials’ and coaches’ locker rooms and guest amenities such as restrooms and concessions
· a Football Team Complex including new space for full-team meetings and other needs
· a men’s and women’s Indoor Golf Practice Facility to include hitting bays, a putting green, team locker rooms, coaches’ offices and an area for swing analysis equipment
· additional enhancements to existing facilities
“Above all else, the student-athlete understands commitment,” said President Jo Ann M. Gora. “Our Cardinal athletes are remarkable in their dedication. They must hit the weights before dawn and study when others have closed their laptops. Just as our student-athletes are committed to Ball State, we now have the opportunity to be committed to them. They are the ones literally running the extra mile. But we can figuratively join the team and go the extra mile to make their experiences the best possible.”
At a 1 p.m. campaign celebration, Norm Beck, executive director of the George and Frances Ball Foundation, emphasized the important role of Ball State and Cardinal Athletics in the community.
“The Ball brothers’ legacy of community development lives on today through this commitment,” he said. “At the heart of this campaign are enhancements to facilities that will help our teams compete at the highest level. Just as Ball State continues to grow academically, it can prosper athletically. The Cardinals are a source of pride for our local community and provide opportunities for students from right here in our local schools. We are pleased to play a part, and I’m confident George and Frances would be equally enthusiastic.”
Ball State competes at the NCAA Division I level and is one of only 120 universities and colleges that compete at the elite Football Bowl Subdivision. Cardinal athletics events already play an important role in creating a vibrant campus life and lively local community. Improvement of critical athletics facilities is expected to not only boost these attributes but also elevate Ball State’s athletics stature and help the university attract and retain top athletes and coaches.
“Every aspect of Division I athletics is competitive,” said Bill Scholl, Ball State’s athletic director. “We’re competing with other universities not just to attract and retain top athletes and coaches. We must also provide great facilities so our teams can train, compete and succeed in the MAC. This new campaign will sustain and accelerate our pursuit of sustained championship level success among our student-athletes.”
Thanks to the generosity of many alumni and friends, Ball State recently made significant improvements to several athletics facilities, including Scheumann Stadium, the Fisher Football Training Complex, Worthen Arena, and new competition areas and locker rooms at Briner Sports Complex.