John Worthen served as the 11th president of Ball State. During his tenure, on-campus enrollment grew to nearly 20,000. Ball State University, Photo Provided.
John E. Worthen: Ball State's 11th president
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.
John E. Worthen became the 11th president in 1984 after the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint him.
In his 16 years as president, there was a record-setting amount of assets added to the University Foundation. The Wings of the Future campaign raised $44 million and created 14 distinguished professorships.
Additionally, the Edmund F. Ball Building, Alumni Center and the Health, Physical Activity and Arena Complex — now named Worthen Arena — were added to campus. Worthen Arena now seats 11,500 fans for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball games.
The Indiana Academy of Science, Mathematics and Humanities and the College of Communication, Information and Media were also established underneath Worthen.
A large goal of Worthen’s was to utilize computers and various technology to enhance teaching. So, the university partnered with AT&T to install optic fiber across campus to bring new technology into every classroom.
Additionally, the university switched from quarters to semesters in order to give teachers more time with the students and a master’s degree in information and communications sciences was added. With these new additions, on-campus enrollment grew to almost 20,000 students.
Prior to Ball State, Worthen was president at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was an administration member at University of Delaware and American University.