St. Francis Church Newman Center
Ministry to Ball State University students began in 1928 with Fr. Leo L. Pursley of St. Lawrence Parish. A decade later, in 1939, three Ball State University students requested the establishment of and, consequently, formed a club for Catholic students to promote spiritual growth, intellectual development, and social activities. These three people, Catherine Holden, Kathleen Meehan, and Margaret Ryan along with Monsignor Edgar Cyr, pastor at St. Mary's, initiated the development of the Newman Center.
St. Mary Parish soon assumed the responsibility of this ministry and, for this purpose, Noll Hall was built in 1956 with a grant from the Diocese of Fort Wayne. At this time, Mass was held in the basement "chapel" in Noll Hall. In 1965, Fr. James Bates was assigned to St. Mary's Parish to develop campus ministry and at that time, weekly services for Catholic students began. In 1966, Neely House was purchased and was used as a center for students.
By 1972, the Newman Center's growth led to the purchase of our current site. Ground was broken for a new Newman facility and Bishop Raymond J. Gallagher formally established St. Francis of Assisi Newman Center on October 15, 1972.
Continued growth produced the need for further expansion and on June 25, 1974, Bishop Raymond Gallagher dedicated Stout Hall and the Gallagher Center.
The Fall of 1997 also saw the rededication of the Newman Center by Bishop William L. Higi. The living room of the Newman House was officially named "The Costello Room" in honor of Tony Costello, parishioner and architect of the Gallagher Building.
With the help of many parishioners and under the leadership of Fr. John Kiefer, the current church building was completed in 2002 and dedicated on November 20, 2003 by Bishop William L. Higi.