Ball Residence Hall Rededication

"Ball Hall Has It All": Preserving and Protecting IUPUI History

June 28, 2021
Hine Hall Auditorium
Indianapolis, Indiana


Thank you, President McRobbie, and thank you all for joining us this afternoon both in-person and virtually.

Ball Residence Hall has always held a special place on this campus as the first home away from home for our students at IUPUI.

I can't believe that for decades, this was the only place for students to live on campus. 

On second thought, I can believe it.

How the Campus and the World Have Changed

Since I joined the university in 1985, IUPUI has evolved from a campus for mainly older adult students to one that attracts more traditional college-age students.

I remember my first class teaching in mechanical engineering, looking into the room, and going immediately to the secretary to confirm the room number.  I was sure I had interrupted a  faculty meeting because the students all looked older than me!

In recent years, the vast majority of our incoming students have been teenagers, and many of these students are looking for a residential college experience. IUPUI has been growing to meet that need. Since 2007, we have seen a steady increase in the percentage of freshmen living on campus, which has risen from 8 percent to around half of freshmen during a normal school year. 

Of course, the past year or so has been anything but normal, and I want to commend our housing staff for stepping up to the challenge and continuing to take care of Jaguar students even in the face of a pandemic. Our staff transformed their processes to help protect IUPUI housing residents, adjusting roommate selection, room occupancy, dining services, cleaning procedures, and many other details. 

Would you please join me in thanking our housing staff for all that they have done?

This residence hall represents a beautiful slice of IUPUI history that students will be able to appreciate first hand for decades to come.

IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar

Thanks to All

As we re-dedicate this magnificent facility, I am mindful that today's ceremony will be President McRobbie's final dedication of a facility on the IUPUI campus ... unless he manages to build something new here between now and July 1. Taking a look at his track record for completing construction projects, it wouldn't surprise me if he could pull that off. 

Over the course of his presidency, Michael has undertaken more than 200 major construction, renovation, or maintenance projects across all IU campuses, with a total value approaching $2.7 billion and comprising nearly 16 million square feet of space.

We are fortunate that several of those projects focused on campus housing at IUPUI. Since 2007, we have converted University Place Conference Center and Hotel into a residence hall, adding around 560 beds. We have constructed North Residence Hall, adding 700 more beds, and now we are celebrating the completion of this wonderful renovation of Ball Hall, which will be home to around 325 IUPUI students.

Of course, Michael would be the first to say that he didn't build and renovate these and many other facilities on his own. He pulled together an outstanding team, including Vice President Tom Morrison and others in the Capital Planning and Facilities Office. Here at IUPUI, I would also like to commend Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Camy Broeker as well as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Eric Weldy for this project in particular.

Would you please join me in thanking Tom, Camy, and Eric, as well as those on their teams?  

Even with an outstanding team, it takes vision and leadership to undertake the massive and relentless building campaign we have seen across the university since 2007, President McRobbie's first year leading the university. In the face of the recession of 2008 and even in the face of a pandemic, this progress continued. 

That we are here celebrating today is testimony to that continuing progress.

That we are here celebrating today is also testimony to the vision, determination, and commitment that President McRobbie has brought to his entire tenure leading the university. 

Would you please join me in thanking him for all that he has done?

Ball Hall has it All

This historic renovation of Ball Residence Hall has unearthed and preserved so much history: in the basketball court on the 4th floor, the beautiful tile work, and other architectural features. With its location next to Ball Garden, which was designed as a therapeutic outdoor space, this residence hall represents a beautiful slice of IUPUI history that students will be able to appreciate first hand for decades to come. 

Looking around the building brings to mind Housing Move In Day a couple of years ago. I had visited North Hall and University Tower, but had saved the best for last. When I arrived at Ball Hall, students greeted me on the steps with megaphones. Fortunately they weren't protesting but were chanting, "Ball Hall has it all! Ball Hall has it all!" Looking around this newly renovated facility, I would have to agree. Ball Hall does, indeed, have it all. 

Thank you very much. 

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