Vice President for Enrollment Management Justin Ball
When Justin Ball was a senior at Canton High School (Ill.), there weren’t many college or university recruiters who came to visit. But he remembers the one from St. Ambrose University (Iowa), who helped him understand the private, Roman Catholic, liberal arts university would be a good fit.
His collegiate experience turned out so well that Ball decided to help future students the way his recruiter helped him.
“Not every school’s students are having the incredible experiential learning that Bradley students are getting.”
As vice president for enrollment management, Ball’s division is responsible for recruiting new first-year and transfer students, as well as accompanying marketing and operations efforts. Outreach begins as early as the sophomore year of high school, but he said they cultivate the Bradley brand as early as elementary school.
“Really, if you think about the recruitment process and lifecycle, we work with students from the very first time that they find out about Bradley University all the way to postgraduation when they start their careers or consider going to graduate school,” Ball said.
He meets with his executive team to plan recruitment strategies, including which high schools to visit, what marketing materials they’ll bring and the kinds of presentations they’ll give. The intent is to meet the needs of a variety of students.
That means reaching high schools throughout the state of Illinois and finding rural high schools where there are students who would be a good fit that oftentimes get passed by other colleges and universities, Ball said.
“We are really aggressive and intentional about finding a class that has a mix of students with a great deal of diversity in terms of where they’re from, their ethnicity, the majors they’re interested in, their backgrounds and all the other things that make students wonderful that you don’t see on a transcript or a test score.”
Relationship building both on and off campus is at the core of Ball’s role. “I intentionally spend time making sure we understand what’s happening in the five colleges and that we’re giving accurate information to students,” he said. “We want to be sure prospective students and their families understand what it really means to be at Bradley.
“There are about 4,000 schools throughout the country, and I would venture to guess that almost every one of them has similar programs to ours, but not every school’s students are having the incredible (type of) experiential learning that Bradley students are getting.”
When he’s not at work, Ball and his wife, Jessica Lenz Ball ’07, enjoy outdoor adventures; the couple has a daughter, Chloe, 3. He encourages alumni families to visit campus with their children and grandchildren and share with them their Bradley Experiences.
“I love hearing those stories,” Ball said.