The home of the president of Ball State University has received some upgrades ahead of the university’s 100th anniversary. The historic Bracken House recently underwent a refurbishment and renovation, thanks to a $400,000 grant from the George and Frances Ball Foundation.

Bracken House once served as the family home of Alexander and Rosemary Ball Bracken and now houses the president of Ball State. This is the first renovation of the home since 1999, when it was transformed from a private residence to the president’s home.

Tom Bracken, president of the George and Frances Ball Foundation and member of the Ball State Board of Trustees, is the grandson of Alexander and Rosemary Bracken and says it was their wish for the home to serve as a gathering place for the university.

"The way the home was built, its location and proximity to Ball State… I believe my grandparents foresaw exactly what is happening now, and that this would be a wonderful gathering space for students, faculty and community members," said Bracken.

In addition to general maintenance, the refurbishment includes an enhanced community gathering and celebration spaces on the first floor with classic Ball State memorabilia. The second floor received improvements as private living quarters for the president and family.

The project was completed by Deanna Whetstone, an interior designer and 1996 graduate of Ball State. Interim President Terry King says this was the perfect time for the update as the university prepares for its centennial.

"Bracken House has become the place where our senior students and faculty members come to celebrate commencement," said King. "It is where alumni gather to reconnect with one another and reignite their passions for the university. It is where we welcome new faculty and staff members, and where we host dinners for our honorary degree recipients. It is a wonderful space for gathering and celebration, and we are thankful to the Bracken family for having the foresight to give it to Ball State and to the George and Frances Ball Foundation for funding the necessary renovations."

You can see more of Bracken House in the video below: