Ball State’s logistics and supply chain management center was dedicated to retired United Parcel Service (UPS) and Ball State alumnus Kent C. “Oz” Nelson Friday.

The center, now called the Kent C. “Oz” Nelson Logistics and Supply Chain Management Center for Excellence, is a 1,500-square-foot area that includes resources and capabilities for students of the logistics and supply chain management program.

Nelson graduated from Ball State with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1959. 

Nelson joined United Parcel Service (UPS) two days after graduating as a customer service representative. From there, he worked his way up and eventually made it to chairman and CEO from 1989 to 1996, though his nickname dates much further.

Nelson’s grade school friend with a knack for giving out nicknames donned him Oz after the 1940s radio show “Ozzie and Harriet.” 

“He decided I was Ozzie Nelson,” Nelson said. 

Nelson has continued to be involved with Ball State serving as a former Foundation Board member for 12 years, a committee board member in three capital campaigns and a member of the Miller College Dean’s Executive Advisory Board.

Nelson said he viewed his career as an active alumnus as a continuation of the great alumni before him. 

The building commemoration is not the first award Nelson has received from Ball State. In 1990, he was inducted into the Miller College Hall of Fame  and in 1991 he was given the Ball State Distinguished Alumni Award. 

Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns said Nelson and his career had more than deserved a commemorative wall. 

“He is a source of inspiration,” Mearns said. “He is a source of inspiration for me, he’s a role model for me, but I also hope he’ll serve as a role model for our students.” 

Contact Charles Melton with comments at cwmelton@bsu.edu