The Vernon C. Schranz Distinguished Lectureship in Public Relations, the nation’s first endowed public relations lectureship, is proudly hosted by Ball State University. 

Ball Corporation of Muncie, Indiana established the lectureship in 1979 to recognize 25 years of outstanding service for its first public relations officer, Vernon C. Schranz. A native to Minnesota, Mr. Schranz (1915-1990) joined the Ball Corporation in 1954, and eight years later became the company’s first director of the newly organized public relations department – one established on the principles of openness, honesty and community service. 

Mr. Schranz was very active in the community and business affairs, serving as a member of the boards of directors of the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, Hillcroft Services (formerly DSCS), the Family Counseling Service and the Newman Foundation of Ball State University. He also served as chairman of the Ball State Center for Economic Education and as vice chairman of the Muncie Human Rights Commission. 

At the time of his retirement in 1979, Ball Corporation honored him with the establishment of the Vernon C. Schranz Distinguished Lectureship at Ball State. In 1998, Ball Corporation provided a $25,000 endowment to Ball State University for the Lectureship prior to moving its corporate headquarters to Broomfield, Colorado. The endowment has since grown to over $50,000.

The lecture series has brought national leadership in public relations to the Ball State campus and has achieved the status as one of the preeminent lectureships in public relations. Mr. Schranz visited the classrooms as a guest lecturer himself and demonstrated his interest in public relations education by endowing an undergraduate public relations scholarship through a gift of Ball Corporation stock.

The lectureship has built a reputation for providing content necessary for the growth and development of the public relations field. It offers an examination of the developing status of the public relations profession and creates a forum for the expression of new ideas and concepts. It serves as a professional development opportunity for Indiana public relations practitioners, faculty and students.