Ball State University’s Office of Industry Engagement hosted a gathering of local leaders and alumni on Aug. 2 in the South Bend-Elkhart region for “An Evening with Ball State University.”

Conversations focused on the strengthening of talent pipelines. Ball State representatives were on hand to discuss strategic initiatives that develop the current and future workforce.

“At Ball State, we are currently educating over 800 students from the South Bend-Elkhart Region,” said Jeff Eads, director for Industry Engagement at Ball State. “We have established tools, like our County Ambassador program, for communities to be strategic and intentional about bringing these talented young people back home once they graduate. These tools are available to every region in the state and are in place to help Indiana thrive.”

The day also featured a customer experience workshop led by Greg Zirkle, director of business and executive programs in the Division of Lifetime Learning.

In the interactive session, attendees learned the key drivers of customer experience, identified touchpoints they can control, and ended with actionable insights to apply in their businesses.

Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns was also in attendance connecting with guests and highlighting the importance of retaining talent in Indiana.

“We are proud to have alumni living and working in all 92 counties, including nearly 6,000 in the South Bend-Elkhart Region,” said President Mearns. “It is essential that we help our graduates recognize and take advantage of the many opportunities in Indiana to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives.”

To learn more about Ball State’s Office of Industry Engagement, contact Jeff Eads at