Time at Ball State University  

Tory Flynn is the Chief Sustainability Officer and VP of Corporate Affairs for Hillenbrand, a global industrial company headquartered in Batesville, Indiana with a presence in over 40 countries. Hillenbrand helps businesses across the world engineer, design, market, and manufacture a wide variety of products that impact how people live, work, travel, and heal. Tory came to Ball State as a non-traditional student a few years after she graduated with her BA with hopes of obtaining a master’s degree in management.  

At her time of enrollment, she had a demanding job as the spokesperson of the Indiana House of Representatives and a new family. Returning to school on campus was just not an option. Thankfully, BSU offered flexible and adaptable options to help Tory complete her master’s degree. Through remote learning and in-person classes held steps away from her office in Indianapolis, Tory was able to complete her degree despite the confines of her busy schedule and daily responsibilities.  

Tory’s daughter at her graduation!

“Ball State was flexible before flexible existed. If it wasn’t for its early innovation, it would have been much more challenging to return to school and pursue a master’s degree.” – Tory Flynn 

  For Tory, her favorite memory while at Ball State was graduation day. Her family, and young daughter proudly cheered her on from the crowd as she walked across the stage to get her diploma. Balancing a full-time job, coursework, and being a mother was hard work, but with the support of her family and the professors at BSU, she was able to earn her master’s degree. Graduation day felt like an accomplishment for her whole family. 

Life After Graduation 

Now armed with her professional experience and a newly acquired master’s degree, Tory was recruited to work for Hillenbrand where she served as the Director of Communications and Public Affairs. During her time in this position, Tory led the implementation of the company’s global corporate responsibility strategy as well as being instrumental in several other initiatives. Since then, she has held a variety of leadership roles and now serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer and VP of Corporate Affairs for Hillenbrand. Recently, she was recognized by SustainabilityX Magazine for being one of the top 50 Women in Sustainability globally. Her legacy and work in the sustainability field is just getting started. 

Advice for Students 

Tory believes firmly that students shouldn’t wait for their dreams to come knocking on their door. Her advice to current students or alumni is to view new challenges as an opportunity to further your career. 

“You will always be too busy or have obligations that could stop you from returning to school and earning another credential.” – Tory Flynn 

Tory had every excuse not to return to school. However, with the help of BSU’s master’s program, she was able to refine her practical business skills, arm herself with successful leadership tools, and apply these learnings across an organization.  She encourages all students and alumni to pursue their career and education goals and to treat challenges as opportunities to pursue their dreams.