Big names, events at Ball State build educational experience

The Daily News

Students pack John R. Emens Auditorium to see Fun. perform Friday before the band’s trip to the Grammys on Feb. 12. DN PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK
Students pack John R. Emens Auditorium to see Fun. perform Friday before the band’s trip to the Grammys on Feb. 12. DN PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK

Kelly Dickey is a senior journalism major and writes “Sarcasm and Smiles” for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper or The Daily. Write to Kelly at kmdickey@bsu.edu.

After Fun. left the stage Friday night and we all awaited the band’s encore, the audience started its usual Chirp. That’s when it hit me: This is what college is all about.

OK, so maybe the point of coming to college is to learn and get an education. But let’s face it, at the end of our time here, we won’t remember each individual lesson plan or maybe even all of our professors. When I leave Ball State in May and look back at my time on campus, the details of nights spent at The Locker Room, parties or even dinners I made for my friends probably won’t matter as much.

Instead, I’m going to remember the major events and speakers on campus that helped enhance my educational experience, and allowed me to blow off some steam.

When I get old and tell tales of my time as a Cardinal to young ones, I’ll tell them about my shenanigans, sure, but it’s going to be the stories of the times I met Karl Rove, Rachel Maddow and David Letterman that will likely captivate them. Or about the time I camped out for tickets to see Oprah Winfrey, and then camped out less than a week later as frost covered my sleeping bag for Fun. tickets. Sure, I was miserable, but I was thankful when I got to see them up close just weeks before they went to the Grammys. 

And that’s just a handful of major players I’ve gotten to meet or see at Ball State. 

Ball State is often overlooked thanks to big schools like Indiana and Purdue universities. For years I’ve heard my peers compare our lack of mainstream performers to shows put on at IU or Purdue.

I used to think the same thing. I knew non journalism and telecommunications majors probably couldn’t understand why Ted Koppel’s visit to campus in 2010 was a big deal, or why Twitter cofounder Biz Stone’s conversation with Letterman was so significant. 

Those big names in fields that matter are important to students, whether they realize it or not. Those speakers can allow us to say that we learned from legends. 

And when it comes to big names in entertainment such as Fun., it can help drive attention to the university, give students something worthwhile to do and show that Ball State is a big name, too.

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