While naming a college after him is Ball State’s way of honoring the former Board of Trustees member, his passion for the university and its students is how some believe Wayne Estopinal’s memory would live on.
The university’s Board of Trustees in a special meeting Wednesday at Sursa Performance Hall approved the renaming of the College of Architecture and Planning after Robert Wayne Estopinal, who died Nov. 30, 2018.
“I hope [his legacy] lives on through the students,” said his daughter Ashley Estopinal, a 2008 Ball State alumna. “That was always his passion … to promote the students and to help them get the best out of their education and the best out of their future.”
She said being passionate, caring and hardworking were some things to take away from her father’s life to “make a difference in this world.”
“If [students] take out that drive and take out that passion and everything they can learn here at Ball State, I think that’ll really solidify what he was trying to do,” Ashley said.
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Apart from his former colleagues and members of the Ball State community, some from his hometown in Jeffersonville, Indiana, were also in attendance, said Rick Hall chair of the Board of Trustees.
Ashley said their presence at her father’s tribute spoke to the number of people who felt a father or mentor-like connection to him.
“Always remember where you came from. And always give back to where you came from,” she said was something the Ball State community could take away from his life.
President Geoffrey Mearns in his speech reflected on a conversation he had with Estopinal, who is also a 1979 Ball State alumnus, during a football game in South Bend, Indiana, about his service at the university.
Mearns said as Estopinal talked about serving his alma mater he became emotional — something the president said reflected his passion for the university.
“And in that moment, it revealed to me the depth of Wayne’s love for this institution,” Mearns said. “It also revealed to me the reason for doing all that he could to support our students and all that he could to support each one of us.”
He said Estopinal was motivated to serve by “a sense of responsibility, a moral obligation … a desire so deep that it moved him to tears.”
“We are better as a university, we are better as people, because of Wayne,” Mearns said. “We miss him, hope we will never forget.”
During his speech, Mearns posthumously awarded Estopinal the President’s Medal of Distinction, “bestowed upon those who have made significant and unselfish contributions to the advancement of the university, to the community, to the state or to the nation.”
Apart from his trusteeship, Estopinal served as Chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and member of the Alumni Council.
More than 50 CAP students have interned at his architecture company TEG Architects, which has also employed 110 Ball State alumni.
His contributions to the community include his involvement in the Louisville Zoo Foundation board of directors. As a soccer fan, he was the owner/managing partner of Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club in Louisville and a minority owner of the Orlando City Soccer Club of the MLS, according to Ball State’s website.
On behalf of her father Ashley accepted the medal — one Mearns said was the university’s recognition of “Wayne’s commitment, his devotion, his leadership, his voice and his vision for his alma mater and the communities to which he belonged.”
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