Charlie Cardinal in 1977

Compiled by Eileen Porzuczek and Nick Werner

From its campus buildings to its academic programs and student life, Ball State is always changing to keep up with the evolving times.

Walk down memory lane with us as we reminisce about Ball State through the years 1960 to 1999. What did Ball State look like the year you graduated, during visits to campus as an alum, or the year you were born? Come with us on a journey from bell bottom jeans and a brand-new LaFollette Complex through MTV and the end of a century.

(A special thanks to Ball State University Archives and Special Collections for making these photos available.)


Scramble Light intersection from 1960.

Lawmakers would not fund an auditorium, so President John Emens secured state funds to build the Music and English buildings (left to right) and University Theatre. Building an auditorium between was more affordable. After a fundraising drive, Emens Auditorium opened in 1964.


Field of tulips at Christy Woods. This tulip garden in Christy Woods served two purposes. It was part of an effort to teach botany students how to cultivate flowers. And, those flowers were then cut and used to decorate University events and offices. Students also grew peonies, irises, roses, and more.


Aerial photo of a 1962 football game.

The stands were packed during this aerial photo of a football game. The Cardinals athletic fields were located north of Ball Memorial Hospital and south of Christy Woods. What is now Scheumann Stadium opened in 1967.


The Ball State Deaf Children's Speech Clinic in 1963.

Caring for children has always been a part of Ball State’s mission. This photo shows students working with children in the Deaf Children’s Speech Clinic. Now called the Speech Language Clinic, it continues to serve community needs while offering students experience.


The 1964 homecoming parade.

Members of the Newman Club for Catholic students adopted Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman as their mascot during the 1964 Homecoming parade. They pulled the float dressed as characters from MAD’s “Spy V. Spy” comic strip. The Cards beat St. Joseph’s College, 38-7.


Noyer Hall after in 1965.

This view of Noyer Complex shows a wide-open landscape where the Whitinger Business Building now stands. Built in 1962, Noyer was the first co-ed residence hall on Ball State’s Campus. It is named after Ralph Noyer, dean of Ball State Teachers College from 1928 to 1952.


A 1966 basketball game.

A packed crowd watched the Cardinals beat the Butler Bulldogs, 72-71, at Men’s Gym (later called Irving Gym) on Feb. 11, 1966. The gym is now part of the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Ball State went 7-14 overall in 1966.


LaFollette Complex under construction in 1967.

LaFollette Complex nears completion. Later that year, the complex opened, housing 1,900 students in four L-shaped eight-story units. Its name honored Robert R. LaFollette, former head of the social science department.


An aerial campus photo from 1968.

This aerial photo shows a new Teachers College Building and a 4-year-old Emens Auditorium. Much of the rest of what is today’s campus was still undeveloped.


Woodworth Hall in 1969.

Students eat lunch on the lawn outside Woodworth Complex. Opened in 1956, it houses 600 students in Brady, Wood, Crosley, and Rogers halls.


The library in North Quad in 1970.

Before Bracken Library existed, North Quad housed the campus library. This photo shows the fifth-floor stacks. The former library is now home to the Learning Center, offering free tutoring and supplemental instruction.


The old Business College building in former Naval quonset huts.

The College of Business once existed in a converted row of three old Naval Reserve quonset huts at McKinley and Neely avenues. The Whitinger Business Building opened in 1979, named after Ralph J. Whitinger, philanthropist and founder of the Ball State Foundation.


The Architecture Building in 1972.

The original Architecture Building opened in 1972. An addition opened in 1983, providing much needed studio space. It houses the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning.


Old mainframe computers.

This photo shows the University Computing Center’s mainframe computers in 1973. Mainframes were eventually displaced by desktop personal computers. Today’s students carry more computing power in their pockets.


The northward growth of campus in the 1960s and 1970s established McKinley Avenue as a main thoroughfare for students heading from dorms to classrooms and on-campus activities.


Students role playing as medieval knights.

Students from the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) do battle with homemade weapons and armor. SCA is a living history group aimed at recreating Medieval European culture. The Ball State chapter no longer exists.


The groundbreaking ceremony for Bracken Library was held on May 24, 1972. Photographed above is the pre-furnished interior, circa 1976.


Charlie Cardinal in 1977.

Disco-era Charlie Cardinal was a tad more homespun than its modern counterpart. A grimacing yet impressively manicured Charlie is shown here receiving hydration at a home game against the Illinois State Redbirds. The Cards beat their Redbird cousins, 27-16.


A phone-booth-stuffing contest for the 1978 homecoming.

We’ll never see its likes again. This photo shows the Homecoming phone booth stuffing contest on Oct. 4, 1978. Alpha Phi, Sigma Chi, and Rogers Hall won in their categories.


Commencement has always been an emotional rite of passage for students and their families. Here, a celebratory moment is shared between a student and his loved one at Summer Commencement 1979.


In 1980, Ball State began an addition to the Architecture Building, which was previously completed in 1972. Watch footage from the groundbreaking.


The Wheelchair Football Program allowed students with disabilities to play the sport. Above, students huddle to plan their next play. The University’s Office of Disability Services was founded in 1973. Ball State continues to be a leader in welcoming and accommodating students with disabilities.


The University Singers in 1982.

A quartet from Ball State University Singers perform at the group’s annual Spectacular concert. The Singers are a vocal ensemble that formed in 1964 under founding director Don Neuen.


In a timeless campus scene, vines and vegetation grow freely on the walls of the Burkhardt Building. Built in 1924, the historic building now houses the departments of History, Anthropology, and Women’s and Gender Studies.


Students celebrate and show their Cardinal spirit at events throughout Homecoming week.


Students gather in front of Emens Auditorium for Summer Commencement. They are excited to receive their degrees from  John E. Worthen, who served as president from 1984 to 2000.


The ground was broken for the Edmund F. Ball Communications Building on June 20, 1986, with construction completed two years later. The building provided much-needed space for communications programs and a home for WBST-FM and WIPB-TV.


In this bird’s-eye view of campus, green trees cluster around the warm red-brick buildings while revealing vacant acres of land that have since been filled.


Emens Auditorium, built in 1964, comfortably seats Ball State students, faculty, and community members for events. In March of 1988, Emens Auditorium hosted the musical production CATS. 


Traffic bustles through campus as cars make their way down, and students make their way across, McKinley Avenue.


Construction of Worthen Arena.

Construction on Worthen Arena was underway in 1990. The new arena was built to hold 11,500 fans, almost twice Irving Gymnasium’s capacity. This $29.4 million dollar upgrade was part of efforts to grow the Ball State sports community and its supporters.


Allègre, the University’s student-run restaurant, opened its doors in 1991, allowing Family and Consumer Sciences students in the Hospitality and Food Management program to gain practical experience in their field.


North Quad Building in 1992.

North Quad peacefully overlooks the Quad on a sunny morning in 1992. Built in 1926, the building was originally the home for the campus library and assembly hall before Bracken Library was built in 1975.


Aerial photo of northside of campus.

This aerial photo shows the intersection of Bethel and McKinley avenues at the north gateway to campus. In the distance is what is now called Scheumann Stadium, before the 2007 expansion.


Frog Baby in 1994.

This photo shows Frog Baby in 1994, the same year she was moved from the Museum of Art to a new fountain north of Bracken Library. The beloved statue was created by Edith Barretto Stevens Parsons in 1937. Legend had it that rubbing her nose brings good luck — although students are banned from entering the pond today and must seek their luck elsewhere.


Homecoming games during 1995.

Students play a Ball State version of the popular MTV dating show “Singled Out” during Homecoming 1995. Hosted by Jenny McCarthy and then Carmen Electra, “Singled Out” ran on MTV from 1995 to 1998.

1996Aerial photo of Bracken Library.

This 1996 photo shows a bird’s eye view of students passing through campus. Missing is the Art and Journalism Building, which now sits west of Bracken Library, where the cluster of trees is in this photo. The AJ Building opened in 2001.


Architecture students working on a project.

Architecture students work on a project in this photo from 1997. Also in 1997, Ball State founded the College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM).


Beneficence in 1998.

Fashions and fads on campus come and go, but Beneficence stays the same as a symbolize the generosity of the Ball brothers, whose land donation allowed Ball State to flourish. Sculptor Daniel Chester French, creator of the Abraham Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., completed Beneficence in 1937.


Ball State University sign in 1999.

Ball State finished the 20th century strong, investing in the latest technologies and reshaping its identity. “Quality education at reasonable cost” became the message that Ball State was sending to the people of Indiana and beyond.