Editor's note: The Ball State Daily News took part in the One Ball State Day fundraiser.
Through on-campus events, online contests and donations, Ball State's inaugural One Ball State Day — the 24-hour fundraising drive — helped raise money for college departments, student organizations and other causes at the university.
The daylong fundraiser held April 9 raised $424,597 through 3,770 gifts made to the different causes at the university. With $66,023.77 raised through 623 gifts, Athletics raised the highest amount of funds.
The on-campus events at Ball State kicked off with Pancakes with the President as President Geoffrey Mearns stood behind a table full of 600 IHOP pancakes and pieces of bacon, a tub of butter, a few Ball jars of syrup, bottled water and orange juice, serving breakfast at the lobby of the David Letterman Media and Communications building.
By 9:45 a.m., not only were all the pancakes gone, but Ball State had raised two times more gifts than ever raised in a single day at the university, Mearns said.
As of midnight April 10 here is an overview of the One Ball State Day leaderboards:
Amount Raised Leaderboard:
Athletics — $66,023.77
Ball State Unit or Organization with the Most Gifts:
Theater and Dance — 747 gifts
Academic Department Participation Leaderboard:
Theater and Dance — 747 gifts
College Participation Leaderboard:
College of Communication, Information and Media — 87 gifts
Athletics Sport Participation Leaderboard:
Football — 137 gifts
In addition to raising money, the campaign also aims to thank its donors for giving back to Ball State.
“They are a big part of what we do,” said Laticia Alexander, events committee co-chair. “They enhance the student experience, for sure.”
In addition to breakfast, members of the events committee handed out free goodies, which included bottles, shirts and mugs. Attendees were also able to write thank-you notes to donors.
“This is a great opportunity to engage our constituents,” Mearns said. “It gives us an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, to celebrate with pride, but also to invest in our future. That’s what this day is about — engaging people in the future, with the hope that among other things, they’ll participate philanthropically.”
Students and faculty alike were also able to enter a raffle. If drawn, they could choose a department to receive $500. The raffle will continue throughout all of the One Ball State Day events.
Andrea Sadler, events committee co-chair, said One Ball State Day has been in the works for a year and planning for the Pancakes with the President began in January.
The next event was Cheers with Chairs which kicked off 1:18 p.m. with students involved in Ball State Cheerleading and Code Red, Ball State’s dance team, shaking their pompoms and cheering, “Go big red!” in the Letterman lobby.
“I think this event is so important just to raise morale and focus on things like this,” said Kate Mahnensmith, sophomore nursing major and member of Ball State’s cheer squad. “It allows us to expand as a program and expand to the university and serve as ambassadors.”
Department chairs from different colleges and programs gathered in the lobby and conversed with students over free Insomnia Cookies and sweet tea.
Events like this not only help raise money for scholarships but help build and maintain ties between alumni and the school, said John Ledbetter, department chair of accounting.
Sotiris Hji-Avgoustis, chair of the department of management, said he was surprised at the number of people who have contributed to the event so far.
“I did not think this many people would be involved,” Hji-Avgoustis said. “But I am very pleased with the turnout.”
Events continued that afternoon with “Snacks and Snaps,” a social meet and greet time with free food and refreshments at 3:18 p.m.
Organizers, teachers and students alike were encouraged to take pictures together as the fundraising progressed through the day.
“I am involved in both the School of Art and Late Nite so I came here to support and donate to them,” 2019 Miss Ball State Samantha Robbins said. “I also came to write thank you notes to donors and get some free swag to sport around campus.”
Free One Ball State day merchandise seemed to be a draw for many students like junior Eamon Hegarty said he was excited to pick up a free mug and a shirt. made available to students who wrote thank you notes to donors. These went quickly within the first half hour of the event.
Volunteers from the Ball State University Foundation, including 2018 Miss Ball State Victoria Ruble, helped with the event.
“I would definitely say my time at Ball State has really opened my eyes to the culture of philanthropy here,” Ruble said. “I didn't know going into Ball State that we had such an amazing alumni base and even further, other people that support the university and truly love what we do.”
The last event of the day, DJ’s PJ’s and pizza, began at 7:18 p.m. Attendees continued writing thank you letters to donors, ate pizza and listened to music provided by the WCRD radio station.
The Cardinal Pride Basketball Band performed from 7:10 - 7:30 p.m. outside the Letterman building then went inside the lobby and played the fight song for the event attendees.
Caroline Hand, associate director of bands, said “I hope they look back to our university at future One Ball State Days and do it because they have memories like this.”
Amanda Holmquist, senior director of marketing and annual giving, said there were 15 different student organizations set up in the Letterman lobby, which let each organization show what it had to offer.
Throughout the day, people involved with Ball State could donate through different outlets online and spread awareness and showing the world that Ball State will continue to grow.
“Our social media presence, w[as] trending worldwide,” said Victoria Ruble, student liaison for the philanthropy education council. “To see people all come together and celebrate Ball State is really awesome.”
Next spring, and in the future, Ruble hopes to gain more campus-wide involvement and be able to host larger events.
“Even though we’re 100 years old, we’re still making an impact,” Ruble said.
Ayah Eid, Scott Fleener, Hannah Gunnel, John Lynch, Charles Melton, Jacob Musselman, Taylor Smith and Evan Weaver contributed to this story.