Hundreds of Ball State students hauled their personal items to campus during Wednesday's move-in hours. New and returning students will be moving back to Muncie through Sunday. Jordan Kartholl/The Star Press
Hundreds of Ball State students hauled their personal items to campus during Wednesday's move-in hours. New and returning students will be moving back to Muncie through Sunday. Jordan Kartholl/The Star Press
MUNCIE — One of the biggest achievements cited by Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns in kicking off the new school year on Friday was the size of the incoming freshman class.

On the other hand, he cautioned that keeping members of that class in school would be one of the biggest challenges.

"In so many respects, we have positive momentum; we are taking flight," Mearns told faculty and staff from the stage at Emens Auditorium during the Fall Convocation, an event similar to a state-of-the-university speech.

"On Sunday in this auditorium, we will welcome the largest freshman class in the 101-year history of Ball State University — approximately 4,050 young women and young men who have decided to pursue their educational aspirations right here, because of you," he said.

The university received nearly 28,000 applications for admission, another record.

The projected median high school grade-point average for the freshman class is 3.53, "and that's an all-time record, too," Mearns said, adding that it's also the most diverse in school history. More than 23 percent self-identify as a minority.

Later in his talk, Mearns was able to boast that over the past decade, Ball State's retention rates and four-year graduation rates have improved significantly.

"In fact, our four-year, on-time graduation rate improved faster than any other public university in the state of Indiana, and that is a point of great pride," he went on, to applause.
Copyright ©2019 The Star Press