By: Marc Ransford—
Muncie, IN—Ciara Borg is 5-foot, 3-inches tall, but at Ball State University, she is the tallest student on campus.
Her image graces a 60-foot long statement banner hung on the side of Teachers College, one of the university’s iconic buildings, as part of a new marketing campaign, “We Fly.” Borg—one of several students featured in Ball State’s new branding efforts—also appears on two billboards in Indianapolis.
“The first time I saw the banner, I was shocked because it was so big,” said Borg, a 21-year-old who grew up near the small northern Indiana town of Shipshewana. “I was out of town when it went up in November, but all my friends on campus texted me photos.
“For a small town girl like me, being one of the faces of a major marketing campaign is a big honor. But, more importantly, it says a great deal about how a dancer can influence others and have a major impact.”
Borg is one of the students selected for the “We Fly” campaign. “We Fly” is part of a new brand strategy launched in November. The theme, developed after months of research and focus group sessions, is a nod to Ball State’s promise to challenge each other to excel. The new university branding campaign includes television, radio, print, and digital advertisements.
The emergence of Borg as a cornerstone of the university’s branding campaign has invigorated the students across campus and particularly within the dance major, said Susan Koper, an assistant professor of dance at Ball State.
“When I saw the image attached to the side of Teachers College, I felt so fulfilled,” Koper said. “It is a tremendous feeling to see one of our students, who is so passionate about her field, held up as an example to the campus community and the state of Indiana.”
The veteran educator also believes Borg has many positive labels in addition to “passionate,” including “compassionate” and “curious.”
“Ciara wants to learn. She wants to be pushed. She wants to grow. That’s a tremendous combination for any dancer.”
Now in her junior year studying dance, Borg is enjoying college life but is preparing for her future.
“It is going to be nothing but auditions, auditions, and more auditions when I graduate,” said Borg, who also is a Presidential Scholar at Ball State. “I want to get into a professional dance company and right now, and I am trying to get my name out there. Last summer, I gained a great deal of experience at the American Dance Festival at Duke University. I’m looking forward to the next step.
“But, every time I see that image, I hope it will inspire students who want to go into the more artistic and creative route in college. I am so passionate about the arts. So many kids dance in high school and never have an idea that they can do this in college.”