Meet Ball State: Remembering Al Rent

(Photo courtesy | WIPB)

Al Rent — known for his legendary contributions to the Ball State and Muncie communities — passed away this week after a battle with cancer.

"Mr. Muncie," as he was known to many, was serving as executive director and general manager for public broadcasting operations at Ball State when he died. He was 73.

Rent, who was a 1967 graduate of the university, held multiple roles at Ball State. He began as the coordinator of Ball State's radio and television news office, and for the next 20 years, Rent worked outside the university in public relations, advertising and as vice president and co-owner of local radio stations WLBC-FM and WXFN-FM.

He returned to campus in 1993 as director of marketing, holding that role until 2015, when he took over as director of WIPB-TV and IPR.

Jennifer May, a Ball State graduate, knew Rent through volunteer work she did at the Muncie Civic Theater.

"[Rent] was so incredibly passionate about the community and about his work and about everyone he met," May said. "I can't believe he is gone — he'll be greatly missed."

Josh Redding, also a Ball State graduate, said he considered Rent to be a mentor. Redding was a member of the Ball State Pride of Mid-America under Rent's direction, and he said Rent will always be remembered for his "constant motivation and love."

"I can't think of anyone more caring than Al," Redding said. "I learned so much from him, and I'm honored to have known such an incredible man.”