Where Did Ball State Cardinals Get Their Name?

The Fascinating Origins of Ball State's Name

Where Did Ball State Cardinals Get Their Name?

Have you ever wondered how Ball State University got its name? The story is a compelling blend of philanthropy, family legacy, and educational vision. Let's explore.

The Birth of the Cardinals: A Democratic Choice

In 1927, the athletic teams of Ball State University adopted the nickname "Cardinals." The name was suggested by then-athletic director Paul "Billy" Williams and was voted upon by the community. Originally, the teams were nicknamed the "Hooserions," but a wave of discontent led to the democratic selection of "Cardinals" as the new mascot. This choice has since become a symbol of community involvement and democratic decision-making at Ball State.

The Ball Brothers: The Pillars of the Institution

Ball State University is named in honor of the five Ball brothers—Lucius, William, Edmund, Frank, and George—who founded the institution in 1918. These entrepreneurs and industrialists from Muncie, Indiana, left an indelible mark on the university.

A Generous Donation: The Catalyst for Change

In recognition of the Ball family's generosity, the Indiana General Assembly changed the school's name to Ball Teachers College in 1922, and eventually to Ball State University.

More Than Just a University: A Symbol of Muncie

The "Ball State" name is not merely a label for the university; it's a representation of the community spirit and educational excellence that defines Muncie, Indiana.

Why "Ball State"?

The name encapsulates the philanthropic spirit and educational vision that defines Ball State University and its programs.

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