August 10, 2020

Ahead of students’ return to campus, Ball State University is launching Cardinals Care, a robust public health campaign that asks every member of the campus community to pledge to do their part to limit spread of COVID-19 — both on and off campus.

Through informational videos, social media posts, new websites, emails, and signage, Ball State’s leadership is asking the campus community to adhere to essential protective behaviors, including wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and proper hygiene. As the centerpiece of that campaign, all members of the Ball State community are being asked to take the Cardinals Care Pledge to care for themselves, other Cardinals, and the campus and community.

Cardinals Care kicks off today. Ball State begins face-to-face instruction on August 24.

“At Ball State University, we are guided by our enduring values, which include social responsibility — our individual and collective obligation to behave and act in ways that are in the best interest of other people,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever for all of us to be responsible for ourselves and each other.”

As part of the campaign, the University is sharing a video about how the campus community can demonstrate commitment and caring about the safety, health, and well-being of others.

President Mearns stressed that with the nation confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, the campus community must rise to the occasion with members taking responsibility for themselves and each other.

“Even though this Fall will be different from a typical year, we will continue to provide our students with the high-quality educational experiences they value at Ball State,” President Mearns said. “Our capacity to fulfill our vital mission is dependent on your full compliance with the safety measures we have developed. I am grateful for your cooperation.”

Ball State is also encouraging local business and community organizations to join the University in committing to safety protocols to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.

Campus Campaign

When students, faculty, and staff return in the coming weeks, they’ll see a high-profile member of the campus community wearing his mask. A 60-foot tall banner of Gabe Cochard, who will graduate with a nursing degree in 2021, is on the side of the 10-story Teachers College Building at the University’s busiest intersection.

The banner was installed last school year as part of a refresh to the “We Fly” campaign, but the University added a mask in recent weeks as part of the Cardinals Care campaign. The mask decal will be installed until Aug. 13. A weather delay would push that back to Aug. 14.

Cochard urges his peers to adhere to the University’s safety protocols — both on and off campus.

“My parents are older, and I wear a mask to protect them,” said the Greenfield, Indiana, resident. “I worry and care about them enough to take this seriously.”

For the latest updates on University’s response to the pandemic, visit