The Ball State Board of Trustees have announced and invited the university and Muncie community to participate in President Geoffrey S. Mearns' upcoming installation. 

"The investiture of a president is an important tradition in the life of any university, including Ball State," Board Chair Rick Hall wrote in university-wide email. "It is a new beginning that honors both our accomplishments to date and our vision for the future."

The 17th president's installation will include a series of events on and off campus from September 7-9. 

"The president has expressed the importance of strengthening our partnership with the Muncie community, an objective embraced by the Board of Trustees," Hall wrote. "We are honored to have President Mearns as our new leader and look forward to his leadership of our beloved Ball State."  

Schedule of events

Sept. 7

  • United Way Day of Action: Volunteers participate in community service projects throughout the day. Projects can include sorting donations, neighborhood cleanups, serving meals and reading to children.
  • First Thursday: The Muncie downtown gallery walk will be from 5-8 p.m. Community members will have the opportunity to see what some local artists have created while enjoying various shops. 
  • First Thursday Block Party: As a part of First Thursday, there will be a citywide block party from 6-8:30 p.m. on Walnut Street between Jackson and Charles streets. The party will include live music, three speakers and more. The speakers will be President Mearns, United Way Worldwide CEO Brian Gallagher and United Way Campaign Chair Casey Stanley. 

Sept. 8

  • President Mearns’ installation: At his request, this will be a simple event, according to the email. It will start at 3 p.m. in the John R. Emens Auditorium. Mearns will have a specoal announcement during the event. If you plan to attend, please call 765-285-6555 or email
  • Campus picnic: After the installation, the university will host a picnic at 4:30 p.m. at LaFollette Field (rain location is Worthen Arena). 

Sept. 9

  • Walk Indiana: Half-marathon (13.1 miles) starts at 8 a.m., with a 10K (6.2 miles) at 9 a.m. and 5K right after along the Cardinal and White River Greenways.
  • CharlieTown: President Mearns will join Charlie Cardinal at home for tailgating before the football home opener against the University of Alabama. Meals will be offered at $5 meals (free for kids 5 and under) along with live music, a pep rally and giveaways from noon to 3 p.m. on the Alumni Center’s west lawn.
  • Ball State's first football game: Ball State will compete against the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the first home game of the season. The game is at 3 p.m. in Scheumann Stadium.