Ball State University in Muncie, IN

Ball State University in Muncie, IN

Top-ranked academic programs make Ball State University one of the best in the Midwest. Ball State has grown into a world-class university with highly respected programs in education, architecture, business, communications, fine arts, sciences and humanities, and the health professions. Seven academic colleges featuring some of the most advanced educational facilities. Residence halls that combine emerging technology with environmentally friendly design. Athletic venues that host NCAA Division I teams. Libraries. Food courts. Not to mention landmarks such as Beneficence, Shafer Tower, and Frog Baby. There’s a lot to take in on the vibrant campus. The best way to experience it all is to schedule a visit. Or take our virtual tour to see highlights online, including 360-degree views of the student recreation center and residence hall rooms.

Whether you are coming here as a student or settling here long-term, Muncie and Delaware County offers some of the most affordable housing in the country. Plus, the community has a variety of dining, shopping, and other entertainment and cultural attractions throughout the year.

Muncie, population of about 70,000, is home to cultural and recreational amenities such as the Minnetrista, Cardinal Greenways, Prairie Creek Reservoir, The Academy of Model Aeronautics, and Muncie Civic Theatre, plus many opportunities on campus like the David Owsley Museum of Art, Marilyn K Glick Center for Glass, Rinard Orchid Greenhouse, and Emens Auditorium. The city ranks as the most affordable place to live in the U.S., according to Realtor.com, and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce has twice recognized Muncie as the Community of the Year.

For more information on Ball State University visit: https://www.bsu.edu/about/muncie

For information on Muncie visit: https://www.visitmuncie.org

Pawnee, IN…the real Muncie?

Pawnee, IN…the real Muncie?

Pawnee, Indiana is the fictional setting for the TV show, Parks and Recreation. Parks and Recreation premiered on NBC in 2009 and ran for 7 seasons with 124 episodes.  The show follows the adventures of the local parks and recreation department employees, led by Deputy Director Leslie Knope (played by Saturday Night Live alum, Amy Poehler). “Muncie is a lovely city.” – Leslie Knope

There are a lot of people that think Pawnee is based off of real cities of Indiana. In the TV show, the city is said to be located about 95 miles south of Indianapolis and 120 miles southeast of Terre Haute with a combined population of 80,000 people. The map of Pawnee is actually a map of Muncie, but turned upside down and flipped. The show even modeled Pawnee’s city government after that of Muncie and Bloomington, IN.

In Parks and Recreation, Pawnee has a city slogan of “First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity”. Fourth in obesity as in the entire country. One of the local factories employs one-third of the city, the Sweetums Candy Factory. The most popular restaurant in Pawnee is Paunch Burger. In the “Soda Tax” episode, they introduced a 512-ounce drink called  “child size” because it was roughly the size of a liquified child.

There may not be 512-ounce sodas in Muncie, but the two communities do have some things in common. This is not the first time Muncie has been modeled as a typical midwestern town. It was featured in sociological studies, in movies, cartoons, and other pop culture.

Jerry/Larry/Garry Gergich, a character on the show, loves his favorite vacation spot…Muncie, were he and his family has a timeshare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middletown Studies

Middletown Studies

In the 1920s, Robert and Helen Lynd led a team of sociologists in a study of a typical middle-American community. The Lynds chose Muncie as the locale for their field research, although they never specifically identified it as “Middletown” the fictional name of the town in their study. Muncie received national attention after the publication of their book, Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture (1929). The Lynds returned to Muncie to re-observe the community during the Depression, which resulted in a sequel, Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts (1937).  The Lynds’ Middletown study, which was funded by the Rockefeller Institute of Social and Religious Research, was intended to study “the interwoven trends that are the life of a small American city.”

The Lynds were only the first to conduct a series of studies in Muncie. The National Science Foundation funded a third major study that resulted in two books by Theodore Caplow, Middletown Families (1982) and All Faithful People (1983). Caplow returned to Muncie in 1998 to begin another study, Middletown IV, which became part of a Public Broadcasting Service documentary titled “The First Measured Century“, released in December 2000. The Ball State Center for Middletown Studies continues to survey and analyze social change in Muncie.  A database of Middletown surveys conducted between 1978 and 1997 is available online from the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA). Due to the extensive information collected from the Middletown studies during the twentieth century, Muncie is said to be one of the most studied cities of its size in the United States.

In addition to being called a “typical American city”, as the result of the Middletown studies, Muncie is known as Magic City or Magic Muncie, as well as the Friendly City.

Bob Ross Tickets and Special Hotel Rates

Bob Ross Tickets and Special Hotel Rates

The Bob Ross Experience

From an unassuming public television studio in Muncie, IN, Bob Ross inspired generations of viewers with his soft-spoken voice and pallet knife. While “The Joy of Painting” is popular around the world, many people do not realize much of the series was filmed in the historic L.L. Ball home on Minnetrista’s campus.

His studio will be open for painting and workshops. There will also be chance to experience his many beautiful paintings. In Bob’s own words, “Beauty is everywhere-you only have to look to see it”.

To order tickets: http://www.minnetrista.net/bobrossexperience

Special “Bob Ross Special” Special hotel room prices at participating hotels:

  • Comfort Inn and Suites, Muncie, 765-587-0294
  • Courtyard by Marriott, Muncie, 765-287-8550
  • Fairfield by Marriott, Muncie 765-282-6666
  • Hampton Inn and Suites, Muncie, IN, 765-288-8500
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel, Muncie, 765-289-4678

 

Emily Kimbrough (1899-1989) American Author and Journalist

Emily Kimbrough (1899-1989) American Author and Journalist

Emily Kimbrough was born in Muncie, Indiana on October 23, 1899 and died February 10, 1989 at her home in Manhattan. In 1921 she graduated from Bryn Mawr College and went on a trip to Europe with her friend Cornelia Otis Skinner. The two friends co-authored the memoir “Our Hearts Were Young and Gay” based on their European adventures. The success of the book as a New York Times best seller led to Kimbrough and Skinner going to Hollywood to work on a script for the movie version. Kimbrough wrote about the experience in “We Followed Our Hearts to Hollywood”.

Kimbrough’s journalistic career included an editor post at Fashions of the Hour, managing editorship at the Ladies Home Journal and a host of articles in Country Life, House & Garden, Travel, Reader’s Digest, Saturday Review of Literature, and Parents magazines. Kimbrough’s “Through Charley’s Door” (published 1952) is an autobiographical narrative of her experiences in Marshall Field’s Advertising Bureau. Hired in November 1923 as the researcher and writer for the department store’s quarterly catalog, Fashions of the Hour, Kimbrough was later promoted to editor of the publication. In 1926, she was recruited by Barton Curry with Ladies’ Home Journal, and left Marshall Field’s to become Ladies’ Home Journal’s fashion editor, a position she held until 1929. Between 1929 and 1952, Kimbrough was a freelance writer, with articles published in The New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly among others. In 1952, she joined WCBS Radio.

The Emily Kimbrough Historic District is a historical neighborhood in downtown Muncie, Indiana. Established as a Muncie local historical district in 1976, it was eventually added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1980. The District was named after the author and journalist, who spent much of her childhood in the District. Her former home, located at 715 East Washington, is still standing today. Muncie and her old “East End” neighborhood are reflected in much of her writing. Most houses in the District were built after the discovery of natural gas in 1886; citizens who profited from the natural gas enterprise built many of the houses. The District soon became the neighborhood of Muncie’s socially elite and prosperous citizens. In the late 20th Century, the city of Muncie began redeveloping the downtown area and also began restoring the historic neighborhood. Many homes in the District have now been renovated and restored to their original state. The District remains a significant part of Muncie history and culture. Since 1976 the East Central Neighborhood Association in Muncie, Indiana, has sponsored the Old Washington Street Festival. The Festival is held annually in the neighborhood, promoting the historical gas boom days and the unique architecture of the homes. The festival offers house tours of the many homes in the District.

David Letterman connection with Ball State University

David Letterman connection with Ball State University

Another famous alumni of Ball State University is late-night talk show legend, David Letterman. Letterman was born in Indianapolis and graduated from Ball State in 1969. Letterman launched his career in radio on the Ball State radio station WBST and later WAGO AM 570.
After graduation, he took a position as a weatherman on a local Indianapolis television station WLWI. In 1975, Letterman moved to Los Angeles with hopes of becoming a comedy writer. His accomplishments caught the attention of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He soon was a regular guest and became a favorite of Johnny Carson.
Letterman credits Carson as the person who influenced his career the most.
David Letterman joined the late night talk show circuit with his own show in 1982. Be sure to checkout “Dave’s Alley” on Walnut Street, next to the famous Vera Maes Bistro. In the alley is a mailbox that collected “Letter’s to Dave” for his late-night show.
Over the years he has earned multiple Emmy Awards, as well as a Peabody Award for his production company, Worldwide Pants. Letterman hosted late night television talk shows for 33 years, and is the longest-serving late night talk show host in American television history. He retired in 2015.
His continued support of the university and its students prompted Ball State to name its newest communication building after him. In September 2007, the David Letterman Communications and Media Building was dedicated. Letterman’s support has also created Ball State telecommunication scholarships. David Letterman donated funding that resulted in a lecture and workshop series attracting business and media leaders as well-known as Ted Koppel, Rachel Maddow, and Oprah Winfrey. At times Letterman has joined the series along with the dignitaries.