Ball State University held two in-person Commencement ceremonies on Saturday to honor about 1,500 Fall 2021 graduates.

The ceremonies were hosted at Worthen Arena on Ball State’s beautiful Muncie campus.

The first ceremony honored Miller College of Business, College of Health, and College of Sciences and Humanities graduates. The second ceremony honored graduates from the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning, College of Communication, Information, and Media, College of Fine Arts, and Teachers College.

Both ceremonies on Saturday featured encouraging words from Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns, who highlighted the graduates’ academic perseverance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Each one of you made many, many sacrifices to help us mitigate the spread of the coronavirus on our campus. I am proud of your patience, your flexibility, and your hard work. And I am confident that the resilience you possessed and increased because of this pandemic—that resilience has changed you,” President Mearns told the graduates. “It has prepared you for the challenges that await you—the disappointments that will require you to get back up again with the same dedication and the same determination that allowed you to persist through these final years as students. And you made it—one day, one class, one assignment at a time.”

President Mearns on Saturday also acknowledged the upcoming retirement of Dr. Sue Hodges Moore, who joined Ball State as its first chief strategy officer in March 2018.

“In this position, (Dr. Hodges Moore) has been influential in helping to develop our new strategic plan, and she has played a lead role in helping us to implement that plan,” President Mearns said. “Sue’s tenure at our University is the culmination of a 40-year career in service to public higher education—a career in which Sue has given her time and her talent to supporting students in their pursuit of fulfilling careers and meaningful lives.

“Sue, your contributions have had a significant, enduring impact on this University and on public higher education,” President Mearns continued. “You will be remembered. Thank you.”

Dr. Hodges Moore, whose retirement is effective at the end of the calendar year, is being succeeded by new chief strategy officer Dr. Charlene Alexander.