Sutton Foster received her honorary doctorate from Ball State for her successful career in television, theater, music and her contributions to Ball State's academics. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Zuma Press,TNS
Sutton Foster: Tony Award winning actress, Ball State supporter
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One of Ball State’s most supportive celebrities is a Tony award-winning actress who never took a class at the university.
While she didn’t attend Ball State, Sutton Foster has an honorary degree and is involved at the university in many ways.
Foster’s career began when she appeared on “Star Search” when she was 15 years old. Today, she is an award-winning actress, singer and dancer who has appeared in 11 Broadway shows, according to her website.
In 2010, Foster made her first visit to campus and since then, she has returned several times to help teach students during workshops and performances. She also spoke at the commencement ceremony in 2011 where she was awarded with an honorary doctorate.
Ball State’s productions of “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Shrek The Musical” were co-directed by Foster, who originated roles in both on Broadway.
While she helped students with character development, then-junior Conor Korbisch said in a previous Daily News article that Foster was open to creative freedom and allowed the students to explore the characters on their own.
“She really wanted to make sure we find our own way and the characters are coming from our own personalities,” Korbisch said. “It was never [Foster] telling us to do anything, it was all very collaborative.”
Foster’s work with the university isn’t limited to her visits, however.
When Foster was in New York, she received a call from her agent informing her about yet another opportunity to help Ball State students. This time she was asked to teach a master class to a select group of students.
“You know it is weird, people are like, ‘Why Ball State?’ It feels meant to be in a weird way,” Foster said in a previous Daily News article. “I know I didn’t grow up in Indiana, but I grew up in Michigan and there’s, like, a Midwestern sensibility. It’s a really important place for me. It’s been such a positive experience and such an amazing experience in my life.”
Foster’s most recent project that incorporated Ball State students was recording her studio album “Take Me to the World.”
From the orchestra and background performers to the cover art and recording process, students from Ball State were involved in every aspect of the songs on the actress’ third solo studio album.