After serving eight years as a member of Ball State's Board of Trustees, Thomas Bracken will be stepping down from the position.
Bracken, who served as the board’s secretary, cited his inability to offer a local perspective on the board as his reason for deciding not to seek a third term.
“I have notified the governor that I would not like to stand for reappointment,” he said. “This will be my last meeting and the governor will be announcing my replacement very soon.”
Bracken unsuccessfully ran for Muncie’s Republican mayoral ticket in May. Following this, he said he pursued other opportunities which eventually led him to Michigan, where he has been living with his family since this summer.
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Four relatives of Tom Bracken have served on Ball State's Board of Trustees:
Father: Frank Bracken
Grandfather: Alexander Bracken
Great grandfather: Frank Ball
Great-great uncle: George Ball
Unlike the rest of the board, Bracken noted that he was the only member who did not attend Ball State as a student. This, he said, made him believe his contribution was to bring a local perspective, as he was the only board member living in Muncie — excluding the student trustee.
During his tenure on the board, he said two notable things he witnessed include the transformation of the campus and the elevation of the reputation of Ball State — which he believes is now on par with Purdue University and Indiana University.
Bracken, a fourth-generation member of the Ball family, said he was unsure whether his replacement will also be a member of his family.
His great grandfather and his great-great uncle — Frank Ball and George Ball — were among the five Ball brothers who founded the university.
Nevertheless, he said Ball State would be better served by someone with a strong local identity, a member of the Ball State’s alumni or someone with close ties to the university.
Having completed his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, Bracken said he would be returning back to his specialty by working for his own company as an engineer.
“Make the most of your four years on this wonderful campus, learn everything you can and be committed to your community,” said Bracken as a parting advice to Ball State students.
President Geoffrey Mearns also thanked and appreciated Bracken during his remarks at the Board meeting.
“As Board Secretary, Tom offered valuable and creative insights to the Board’s decision-making process,” Mearns said. “He has been—and will continue to be—a passionate advocate for the institution that his family founded more than 100 years ago.”
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