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April 25, 2018

Allison Ball delivering a presentation
Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball spoke to students about getting involved in public life during an event on April 25.

April 25, 2018

WILMORE, Ky. — Allison Ball, state treasurer for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, met with a group of Asbury University students on Wednesday for a “fireside chat,” encouraging them to be involved in public life. The event was sponsored by Asbury’s new Joe Pitts Center for Public Policy.

Ball is the 38th State Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the youngest statewide female elected official in the country.

“Hopefully, you will be inspired to do great things,” Ball told students. “We really need people of faith and integrity who are thinkers — people like you — who are involved.”

For students, the event provided an opportunity to ask questions and learn from an elected official, with insight ranging from the nuts and bolts of politics to the personal realities of running for office and working in public life.

“I love getting to hear from women in office,” said Betsy Sheffield ’20, a student who attended the event. “A lot of times, especially when you’re building a family, it’s hard to even consider. But to hear from a woman who is balancing both is a really excellent opportunity.”

Proposed initiatives of the Joe Pitts Center for Public Policy, named for Asbury alumnus and retired U.S. Congressman Joe Pitts ’61, encompass public policy conferences — the recent Opioid Crisis Conference is just one example — as well as a speaker series, leadership intensive, scholarships and more, equipping students to engage in public life.

During Wednesday’s event with Treasurer Ball, students asked questions on topics ranging from pension reform to economic development to charitable engagement with people of differing politics. Throughout the discussion, Ball emphasized the need for public officials who are people of character.

“Governing is not for the faint of heart,” Ball told students. “I’m here to encourage you, but at some point, you will be in positions where you have to do what you think is right, and not everyone is going to agree with you. […] You are people of faith. You believe you have a purpose in being on this planet. It’s not a popularity contest — you have to do something with what you’ve been given. And you’re the people we need in Frankfort.”

Ball says her preparation for the role of State Treasurer stemmed from a decision she thought was “crazy” at the time — moving home to Eastern Kentucky, without an assured job, after finishing law school.

“I felt that God was leading me to come back home,” Ball said. “And it was exactly the right thing to do. God was putting things in place. I think there’s huge value in going home. We need people to come back home after they graduate and be those people who create opportunities.”

Ball also gave special encouragement to female students to run for office. 

“We really need more women to run for office and assume greater levels of leadership,” Ball said. “One thing that is consistently true, in study after study, is that women often self-disqualify themselves from running for office and underestimate the qualities they have. You really do have great qualities to bring to the table, and we need that greater balance.”

 

To learn more about Asbury’s Joe Pitts Center for Public Policy, visit: asbury.edu/PittsCenter.