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.