Family, colleagues, and friends lined up outside Cardinal Hall B to greet, hug and congratulate the retiring senior adviser to Ball State’s president. She initially wasn’t keen on holding a reception for her retirement.

“I don’t like things about me,” said Marilyn Buck, who has also served as Ball State’s liaison to Muncie Community Schools. “I wanted to look around the room and say thank you. What an opportunity this has been.”

The university held a retirement reception for Buck Thursday, who after 30 years at Ball State, will be retiring from her duties at the university June 30.

She shared with the audience her journey through Ball State, which had its own hurdles. Upon moving in 1989, her car was totaled and she had to get a new one. In September the same year, rain ended up flooding her office and she didn’t have bookshelves or cabinets to put her books and files on yet. The following month, she faced nine inches of snow.

“I’m still here,” Buck said, years after a rough start.

Marilyn Buck, senior adviser to the president and Ball State liaison to Muncie Community Schools, wears a retirement sachet and interacts with guests during her retirement reception May 16, 2019, at Cardinal Hall. Buck will be retiring from the university June 30, 2019. Britney Kendrick, DN

Her journey at Ball State continued with her becoming associate chair in the School of Physical Education, to dean of University College, to interim provost from 2016 to 2018, before she arrived at her current position in the university.

Overall, she has spent 45 years in education starting with her time as a teacher for students in grades seven through nine.

“If I went out and trained teachers, and I had one teacher that cared as much as I cared for my students, and was an even better teacher than I was, my influence on kids didn’t change,” Buck said.

A chair gifted to Marilyn Buck, senior adviser to the president and Ball State liaison to Muncie Community Schools, sits May 16, 2019, at Cardinal Hall during her retirement reception. President Geoffrey Mearns presented the chair to Buck. Britney Kendrick, DN

President Geoffrey Mearns and Terry King, interim president of Ball State from 2016 to 2017, spoke about the impact and legacy Buck leaves behind at university.

“She has played an integral role in the upward trajectory of the institution,” Mearns said. “We see the impact of her work in the many ways. She’s improved our programs, contributed to new technologies, but what's most important is the impact she’s had on us individually.”

King’s remarks focused on Buck’s personality and character.

“What cannot be said in a summary document no matter how complete is the personal side of Marilyn,” he said. “She is steadfast, loyal, extremely hard working, supportive and totally honest.” 

Buck’s speech concluded with a standing ovation from those gathered. She was also presented a handcrafted wooden chair with Ball State’s logo engraved on the top by Mearns, Board of Trustees Secretary Tom Bracken and Student Trustee Marlee Jacocks.

“Since I was five I have gone to school and this August I will finally graduate, and what better an institution than this one to say I graduated,” Buck said.

Contact Britney Kendrick with comments at