When the Art and Journalism building was still under construction, all journalism faculty knew what it should be named: The Louis Ingelhart Building. Granted, journalism does share this building with the Department of Art, but above all, Ingelhart was a crusader for the First Amendment, a document used equally by both departments.
In a perfect world, Ball State's campus buildings would still bear the names of prominent members of the Ball State community, just as they used to. But Ball State is not part of a perfect world, and economic realities make this all but impossible. Now if you want a building named after yourself, you must first fork over half the cost of the building. We suspect Ingelhart may be a few million dollars short, so we would like to offer an alternative solution:
The Louis Ingelhart Department of Journalism.
For the uninitiated, Ingelhart is a nationally recognized guardian of the First Amendment, and a Ball State professor emeritus of journalism and director emeritus of student publications.
The state and national accolades bestowed upon Ingelhart over the years are far too lengthy to list here, but it is his contribution to Ball State's journalism department that makes him worthy of this honor.
Ingelhart began at Ball State in 1953, before the journalism department existed. It is not hyperbole, then, to say Ingelhart is responsible for the department's existence. He gave it its start, fostered it for three decades and planted the seeds for what it has become.
Today, Ingelhart is still a presence in the department, often traveling with students and faculty to journalism conventions across the country. Ingelhart served as adviser of the DAILY NEWS, and over the years we have both coveted his praise and listened carefully to his criticism.
As we approach the 50-year anniversary of Ingelhart's career at Ball State, we can only hope he is proud of the department, and especially of the Daily News. This is the department that Louie built. It's time it bore his name.