Even after graduating in 2016, alumnus Max Browning stays actively involved in an organization that changed his life at Ball State.    

Browning, who was involved with Dance Marathon all four years during his undergraduate, has been selected to serve as the Ball State University Dance Marathon Alumni Association’s President for the next two years.    

“I’ve been graduated for about a year now but Dance Marathon has stayed something that I am passionate about so I knew that I had to stay involved somehow,” Browning said. “When the Alumni Association said they were looking for a president, I felt that now was a good time to apply and get re-involved with Dance Marathon at a higher level.”   

Before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication, Browning served in multiple roles in BSUDM, Ball State’s largest student philanthropic event, involving more than 1,000 students participating in 12 hours’ worth of dancing, games and other entertainment for Riley Hospital for Children. 

He was the dance relations committee chair, co-director of dance relations, director of stewardship and president in 2015. This past year, he served as the silent auction chair for the gala committee as a part of the Alumni Association.    

“There's a saying, ‘It’s not four years, it’s for life,’ for Dance Marathon I like to say, ‘It’s not four years, it’s for the kids,’” Browning said. “Dance Marathon is something that ... you don’t forget the kids that were at the event. You don’t forget their stories and their faces. It’s an absolutely life changing event.”   

Even now working as the grant development coordinator at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Browning said he still finds the time to stay connected through Facebook with the kids and parents he met through Dance Marathon.

"It's great to keep up with what's happening in their lives," he said. "I like being able to scroll through my timeline and see pictures of the kids or get updates on any surgeries they may be going through. These people mean a lot to me."

As BSUDM Alumni Association's president, Browning will be responsible for keeping everyone, current and past members connected, as well as overseeing that alumni provide resources to current BSUDM executive board members leading up to the event in February.   

“We like to work as a mentorship so we do alumni buddies where we pair up one alumni with one executive member,” he said. “A lot of the alumni were previous executive members so we know what they are going through and can give them advice on how to be successful throughout the year.”    

Browning has goals for his two-year term, even though he said they may not be “qualifiable.”   

“I think the Alumni Association needs to stay fluid from year to year because our priorities are going to change and what Dance Marathon is going to need to be successful is going to change,” he said. “We have to be proactive in what is going to be needed for them and not necessarily go in with our own set of goals because that’s not going to always line up.”   

Along with his goals, Browning also hopes to create more awareness in showing the Ball State community that the Alumni Association exists. He hopes that Dance Marathon members will realize that they have the option to still stay involved, even after graduation.    

The new president encourages Ball State students who may not be involved in the organization to give Dance Marathon a shot at least one year in school.    

“Hearing the stories, listening to the kids, playing with them and meeting the families ... I promise that those are the moments that will change lives,” Browning said.