Former mayor joins UIndy

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Following former mayors Richard Lugar, William Hudnut, Stephen Goldsmith and Bart Peterson, Former Mayor Greg Ballard has joined the University of Indianapolis’ Institute for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives.

President Robert Manuel announced the news in a campus-wide email on Wednesday, April 20. Director of the Institute for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives and Professor of History and Political Science Edward Frantz said that the archives were founded in 2011 and are meant to be a resource for students as the archives include photos, documents, news clippings, music and videos, all of which have been digitized and are available at uindy.archivestree.com.

Lugar, Hudnut, Goldsmith and Peterson all have donated their materials to the archives, and now Ballard will donate his official papers, documents and other materials as well. Ballard, who had been considering  going to Ivy Tech at one point, said he and Manuel had been speaking about the possibility of joining the university for about a year.

Greg Ballard, former mayor of Indianapolis, officially joined the University of Indianapolis community on Wednesday, April 20. He has donated to the Institute for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives. Photo by Mercadees Hempel

Greg Ballard, former mayor of Indianapolis, officially joined the University of Indianapolis community on Wednesday, April 20. He has donated to the Institute for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives. Photo by Mercadees Hempel

“There’s a long history of mayors coming down to UIndy in some fashion or another,” Ballard said. “I think that was very attractive, and my discussions with Dr. Manuel have been really comfortable and, I think, really reflective of what the university is. I just wanted to be a piece of it.”

Along with donating to the archives, Ballard said he wants to speak with students about clean energy initiatives, transportation and international affairs as well. Manuel said
that he is excited about the possibility of Ballard’s starting camps and conversations on campus in the summer that may focus on robotics, technology or coding.  Manuel said he is thrilled that students will have the opportunity to talk with Ballard about these topics and that this helps accomplish university goals for preparing students.

“As a comprehensive liberal arts institution, our goal is to teach people how to read and think and reason and be logical in their thought processes and to apply that in the real world,” Manuel said. “And when you have folks on campus who straddle both worlds, like we do in our faculty and like we do with [Former] Mayor Ballard, it’s a great opportunity for students to test what they’re learning and to be exposed to the workplace environment they’re going to inherit one day when they graduate.”

Frantz said that Ballard’s decision to join the university is a great honor given the many options Ballard could have chosen instead. Frantz said that he is really excited for this new addition to the archives, as well as to the university as a whole.

“This is the kind of signature bold move that I think the University of  Indianapolis is becoming much more well-known for,” Frantz said. “I think it reflects the mayor.  I think it reflects President Manuel’s emphasis on engaging the community and having leaders interact with our students and vice versa. So I think it’s just the next stage of a really exciting time. And I think it’s tremendously cool to have this happening now.”

Frantz said that Ballard also will be a resource on campus because he lives in Indianapolis year-round, which is different from past mayors who joined the archives.

“What’s so exciting about the relationship with Mayor Ballard is [that] he will be here as a resource for students to talk to, or immediately for faculty members from a variety of disciplines to sit down and think through again not only where Indianapolis has been but where we want to go,” Frantz said.

Besides donating to the archives, Ballard said he hopes to engage with students, discuss issues in politics and possibly travel overseas with students as well. Ballard said he is pleased to be a part of the campus community.

“I’m here, and I would love to engage with them [students] and talk to them routinely,”  Ballard said. “I think you’ll see me walking around the campus quite a bit.… I want the students to know there’s great resources here for them and that there are terrific people associated with the campus who really want them to succeed.”

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