Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history. 

With a PhD in chemical engineering, former interim president Terry King began his career as an engineer. 

From 1979 to 1982, King worked at Exxon Chemical Company where he researched and developed projects related to the production of chemical intermediates.  

King has won awards for his research on the chemical and physical aspects of catalysis and nanotechnology. He also currently has three patents and has received grants from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

In 1982, King began teaching at Iowa State, where he received his undergraduate degree, and later became the department chair of chemical engineering. During his time at the university, he also conducted research, which led to over 150 peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

After 15 years at Iowa State, King became Dean of the College of Engineering at Kansas State University. In 2006, however, King began working at Ball State as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

While at Ball State, King worked with two presidents — Jo Ann Gora and Paul Ferguson — to help the university grow in many different ways.

King worked on Ball State’s first long-range academic plan, which lead to the creation of the College of Health. He also set benchmarks for the university’s strategic plan and set goals regarding the university’s four-year graduation rate and first-year retention rate. 

When Ferguson suddenly resigned in 2016, King postponed his retirement to take on the responsibility until the university had found a replacement. 

King told The Daily News that as interim president, his job was more focused on fundraising as well as branding and marketing, and while he enjoyed the job, he never intended to become president. 

He said presidents should be able to commit around 10 years and his family and retirement plans prevented him from being able to do so.

On June 9, 2017, King retired and Geoffrey Mearns became president. 

Read more centennial content here. 

Contact Brooke Kemp with comments at bmkemp@bsu.edu or on twitter @brookemkemp.