Friends and family gathered together at his viewing to remember the legacy Ed Shipley leaves behind at Ball State.
Edwin “Ed” Dale Shipley, 73, died May 17, his obituary states. Shipley worked at the university for 34 years, with 31 of those years as the Executive Director, President and CEO of the Alumni Association. In 2017, Shipley was inducted into the Ball State Athletic Hall of Fame.
On Tuesday at Parson Mortuary, loved ones and friends had an opportunity to say their goodbyes, share their thoughts about his life and place bouquets of red and white flowers next to him.
“He’s my Dad, a mentor. He cared deeply about his three children and seven grandchildren,” his son Scott Shipley said. “He made people feel like they were the most important person in the room.”
Scott’s sister, Sharla Kinsey, recalled her father being dedicated to his work at Ball State, but his reach spread beyond the university.
“He’s my dad, so, I think of him in that way,” Kinsey said. “But since he passed, and all the stuff on social media — when I find out that he was mentor to this person, or he helped do this someplace that impacted somebody’s life — I see him as much more much bigger than what I had realized.”
She said her father's love and loyalty to Ball State was so strong, when Kinsey’s daughter was looking for colleges, it was hard for him to remain unbiased.
“He would say, ‘Well, you know Ball State has a really good nursing program?’”
Guests were surrounded with memorabilia from Shipley’s life including multiple photo collages of his life and family, framed articles and placards of his time at Ball State including a customized Ball State red and white football with Shipley’s name on it.
“He was everything to me, he was a father figure, a mentor, he was Ball state through and through,” said Mike Fleck, head coach of Ball State Golf. “He was really the last, really strong connection with the Ball State golf program.”
Shipley’s family and friends said they could never think of a time he was not in Ball State gear. As a gift to the family, among the many flower bouquets, was a Ball State golf bag from Fleck and his wife filled with flowers.
Aaron Lake, associate director of special initiatives and development at Indiana Academy, said Shipley gave him his first job at Ball State.
At 23, Shipley encouraged Aaron to take up a job at the Alumni Center. Later, at a different location, he’d be in charge of event planning and coordinating for the Black Alumni Constituents Society — something Shipley played a role in bringing to Ball State.
“Of all the souls I ever met, his was the most human [sic],” Aaron said about Shipley, quoting Captain Kirk’s eulogy for Spock in the movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
Aaron said when the black alumni constituents would have a meeting he would be present, but was never superimposing of the directions he or other members of the organization took for the program. Instead, Shipley tried leading Aaron in a different way.
“You may have a different path, and a different direction, and different doesn’t mean right or wrong, different just means not the same,” Aaron said Shipley told him — something that always stuck with Aaron when he started his job at the Alumni center.
Jeannine Lee Lake, Aaron’s wife, owner of “The Good News” community newspaper and the 2018 Democratic nominee for Indiana’s 6th Congressional District, said she would compare him to J. Allan Rent, the late executive director and general manager for public broadcasting operations at Ball State — someone she said was very involved with the university and the black community in Muncie.
“They were the kind of people that really moved and shook the foundations to make things happen at Ball State,” Jeannine said.
“He made sure that our voices were heard and our needs were heard. Everybody doesn't do that,” Jeannine said. “It takes sometimes a person that has a little bit of prestige, and honor, and privilege to open the door for others. And that's what he did for the Black Alumni association.”
Scott shared his final thoughts on his father's life.
“I think his legacy is about people and relationships and the way he made people feel,” he said. “We are very thankful that we could call him dad and call him grandpa.”
Contact Britney Kendrick with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.