Mearns Wants Ball State 'More Visible And Vocal'

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Mearns began as Ball State President in May. Mearns began as Ball State President in May.
MUNCIE -

Ball State University President Geoffrey Mearns says the school's new branding campaign comes at a time that "we've been a little quiet." He says the "We Fly" theme, developed through research and focus group sessions over several months, is targeting prospective and current students as well as alumni who have only been "modestly" engaged in the past. Mearns took office in May, and says he's been seeing a "sense of passion and pride on campus."

During a Studio(i) interview, Mearns said, while he admires humility, "it's not a good marketing strategy when it comes to a university."

The Muncie school unveiled the new brand strategy Monday. The school says the message aims to tell the school's story and highlight attributes including immersive learning, empowerment and campus size. In a news release Monday, Mearns said school leaders knew the new slogan was right when they first heard it.

Ball State officially installed Mearns as its 17th president in September. He marked the occasion by announced that he and his wife Jennifer are committing $100,000 to establish the Mearns/Proud Family Scholarship to support Muncie Central High School graduates who are first-generation college students. He says the commitment is part of his belief that "we all must do more for our schools and our community."

In August, Ball State reported total enrollment of 22,513, which is the highest total in its nearly 100-year history. Its freshman class, at 4,002, is just three students shy of the record set in 1997.

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