'From Normal to Extraordinary' Salutes Ball State

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(Image courtesy of Ball State University.) (Image courtesy of Ball State University.)
MUNCIE -

More than a year of preparations, shooting and editing will culminate in Thursday evening's debut of a student-produced documentary to officially kick off the 100th anniversary of the founding of Ball State University. The centennial celebration, which has already included smaller-scale initiatives throughout the Muncie campus, will also involve "red carpet" experiences, a fireworks display and Ball State Symphony Orchestra accompaniment of the documentary. The production is designed to showcase what the university says is Ball State's "historic effect" from the contributions of its students, alumni, faculty and staff.

During a recent interview at the school's Indianapolis center, President Geoff Mearns described what went into making "From Normal to Extraordinary: Ball State's First Century." He said "I met with (the students) shortly after I arrived last May when they were beginning to do the research. They gathered archival photos, they gathered archival videos. They interviewed people -- everyone from David Letterman to Geoff Mearns and have put this documentary together. I've had a chance to get a sneak preview and it is truly special."

After the turn of the 20th Century, glass-making industrialist Frank Ball and his brothers acquired the property of a failed private teaching school in Muncie. They donated the property to the state and the gift eventually became Indiana State Normal School Eastern Division in 1918. The state renamed the school Ball Teachers College in 1922, then Ball State Teachers College three years later, then Ball State University in 1965.

View a trailer of the documentary:

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