Every now and then, we receive messages of gratitude from parents. While those messages always warm our hearts, they have a stronger resonance in 2020 because they demonstrate that the hard work we put in not only has a deep impact on our students, it also grants their families peace of mind. As Thanksgiving is around the corner, we wanted to share those stories of gratitude with you (used with permission).

 A 2:30 A.M. Text

The Phillips family

“Good morning. I am a parent of a current BSU freshman enrolled in the BSU Sports Link program. I received a text message from him at 2:30 AM today. I immediately thought “I hope he’s okay” and then immediately after, “I’d better get in the car to come bail him out.”

Instead, this is the message I received:

“A long, cold day. But I LOVE IT! This is what I was meant to do and why I’m here. Thank you for all you [sic] love and support! First of many.”

This is everything a parent could possibly hope for his children when they leave for college. My heart is filled today. I am writing to thank you for everything your entire organization has done to make this a successful semester. These kids missed prom, graduation, and so many experiences. I don’t know if you realize this or not, but this class is made up of 9/11 babies. They were born in the year following the horrific 2001 event. They are a small cohort because many were not willing to bring kids into the world at that time. So, we are an optimistic and determined group of parents, for sure. We are thankful that you went forward with a school year. Because you decided to work hard and dedicate the resources necessary to have in-person experience and to have a sports season, my kid is happy and fulfilled right now. Thank you to everyone who made this semester possible for him and others. Please feel free to share my thanks with those responsible for making sure these kids had a freshman year in college in 2020.

Oh, yes, I’m fully aware that there will be future late night texts that don’t make me proud, but I’m focusing on this one today. I hope you do, as well.”

— Chad Phillips

Finding an Academic Home

Claudia Metzger and her mother

The faculty of Communications Studies lift up their students, they blanket them with support, then they give them in-class and out-of-class opportunities to excel. My daughter has found an academic home in Communication Studies and in CCIM. Several professors and staff already have become mentors to her.

Only in her sophomore year, I’ve seen a marked change in her self-confidence and in her broader outlook. And I would be remiss not to mention the high anxiety of 2020 was tempered by caring faculty who would check in with her throughout the semester, offering encouraging words and flexibility when she needed it.”

— Juli Metzger

An Emmy Award Winner

Ryan Shanks and his parents at the Regional Emmy Awards Ceremony

“When Ryan was considering colleges, he really wanted to go to another University in Indiana. He had friends there and they gave a great tour. I knew that as a 16 year old he really didn’t understand what repaying a bunch of college debt was going to be like. It was because of this I really pushed him to consider other colleges. It was after our visit and your tour that he agreed Ball State would be OK if he wasn’t going to the other University.

As a parent whenever you step into your children’s life and strongly encourage them to take one path over another, there is always a fear, that if things don’t work out, it will be your fault.

I will always remember after he won his regional Emmy award, he gave me a big hug and told me, “Dad I am so glad I went to Ball State”.

I was very impressed with the Unified Media Lab that Ryan was a part of and its integration with other programs at the university. I truly believe that the program at Ball State was the best possible choice to prepare Ryan for what he wanted to do.”

— Larry J. Shank

A Successful Freshmen Year

Madison Surface and her parents

“We couldn’t be more pleased with Madison’s decision to attend Ball State for her undergraduate degree in Journalism.  The opportunities, connections and experience she has already gained during her freshmen year have greatly superseded our expectations.

We knew the Journalism and TCOM programs at Ball State were top notch but after watching our daughter experience such success we know this was the right place for her and have never once second guessed her decision.  We are excited to watch her continued growth and how it will provide for her future!”

— Matthew and Charity Surface

A side Chat at the Dean’s List Ceremony

Chris Zurisk, his parents and the CCIM Dean

“I merely wanted to write and express our sincere gratitude on your very kind words about our son, Chris Zurisk.

We were already incredibly proud of Chris for being on the CCIM Dean‘s list for his third year, and your remarks afterwards in the reception hall just made everything that much more memorable. My wife and I spent our ride back home (3 hours+) talking about how fortunate we are that our son attends Ball State and that it’s key individuals like yourself that contribute to his success.

As parents, we want nothing more than a successful, decent and dedicated child pursuing his dreams. Given the support from you, and other Ball State staff, this is becoming a reality. Thank You Very Much.”

     — John & Michele Zurisk