One Ball State Day. Hosted each Spring, Ball State’s 24-hour online fundraising event is not only felt campus-wide, but serves as a celebration for Cardinals across the world.

This year’s One Ball State Day (OBSD), held today, April 5, includes an ambitious goal of topping the $1 million mark in gifts for the first time in the event’s four-year history. With participation from every college, division, and department across campus, students, faculty, and staff are joined by generous alumni and friends of Ball State to show their Cardinal pride and make a gift to the areas that mean the most to them.

This year’s One Ball State Day celebration is certainly no different, as campus has been abuzz with numerous activities and events, such as grab-and-go activity stations, treasure hunts, trivia games, virtual panels, and several photo-taking opportunities.

That’s exactly the kind of spirit that inspires Dr. Melinda Messineo, Ball State’s interim associate vice president for Inclusive Excellence and professor of Sociology.

Dr. Melinda Messineo

“One of the things I love about One Ball State Day is it brings all units together in this celebratory event—from Alumni to current students, faculty, and staff, from small initiatives to large overarching goals—it brings all of this energy and intentionality together,“ Dr. Messineo said. “From specific projects to big vision, One Ball State Day can fundraise for them.”

A fan of giving $19.18 to units in reference to Ball State’s founding year, Dr. Messineo says One Ball State Day is able to raise awareness for many of its initiatives on campus because of the Ball State Foundation’s dedication and promotion of the event year-round.

“I know our own campaign here in the Office of Inclusive Excellence has gotten so much more attention than we’ve been able to generate in other contexts,” Dr. Messineo said. “So that’s been very, very helpful.”

At its core, One Ball State Day is specifically geared towards providing support for the financial needs of students, faculty and staff, and programs.

For junior Anna Figel, One Ball State Day is all about giving back to the units that have given her so much during her time at the University, both as a resident assistant and Interpersonal Communications major.

Anna Figel

“Housing has given me so much. There’s never going to be a way for me to thank Housing enough for giving me this job, helping me with my tuition, and giving me the resources to make connections in the fields I want to work,” said Ms. Figel, who is also pursuing a double minor in Sociology and Strategic Communication. “Just giving on One Ball State Day is a way to create scholarships within Housing and make the residence hall experience better for students.”

Passionate about leadership opportunities at Ball State, Ms. Figel said she’s especially fond of the various antics seen out of Ball State’s dedicated faculty and staff throughout each One Ball State Day. Numerous deans, professors, and other staffers offer donation matching challenges that will result in, for example, getting a pie to the face—and even go as far as getting a tattoo.

Dr. Paaige Turner, dean of the College of Communication, Information, and Media, is one of the more active University leaders throughout each One Ball State Day—an event that she knows has an impact far beyond its 24-hour giving period each year.

Dr. Paaige Turner

“Every time I go out and talk to alumni, they tell stories about how Ball State believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves,” Dean Turner said. “So, when donors give back on One Ball State Day, you’re saying to the students, ‘We believe in you, we know what you’re going to do, and we want to make sure that every student, regardless of socio-economic background, has the same opportunities that we did.’”

Dean Turner said her primary mission in the lead-up to each One Ball State Day is to provide proper context about the value of giving to current students and alumni.

“I tell them ‘Your education is what has helped you succeed, and there are dollars that got you where you are that you don’t even see,’” she explained. “’There are things like equipment, study aboard opportunities, and chances to work with community partners—all of that came from dollars from students who came before you.’ Literally, $10 donation can make a difference.”

To Tim Underhill ’84 MA ’09, One Ball State Day holds significance as both a faculty member and University graduate. An associate lecturer of Media, Professor Underhill encourages fellow alumni to consider looking back at their time on campus and the impact it had on them.

Tim Underhill

“Think back to your time at Ball State, to the differences that the faculty made and things learned in the classroom, and how you can make a difference to students now,” Professor Underhill said. “It goes beyond you, personally, for you to think about how to leave something for the future.

“One Ball State Day is a very visible way of showing support for the University, and I think it is something that is especially important is for students to see the wide variety of places that support comes from and to see how alumni are proud,” he continued.

Along those same lines, Ms. Messineo hopes those still considering making a donation will keep in mind the passions that were sparked right here in our classrooms and labs, in immersive learning projects, and on the sports fields.

“Maybe it was that club, student project, or Career Center experience that really impacted your life—I bet there is a way for you to connect during One Ball State Day,” Ms. Messineo said.

“Find something you’re passionate about. No amount is too small—and remember: someone had invested in you, and so you’re having this opportunity to pay it forward.”

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