A Pattern of Giving

By Kevin Ball

PROVO, Utah – Oct 14, 2014 – I keenly remember sitting in my basement apartment in Utah and reviewing with my wife our meager student finances. Given the recent birth of our first son and my heavy academic load, I could only afford to work part time. Even with our combined efforts, money was very tight for my wife and me. We were incredibly grateful for the low tuition, the scholarships, and the financial aid which allowed me to receive such an outstanding degree, and we committed to someday give back what had generously been given to us.

Since then I’ve been asked why I give back to the information systems department at BYU every year. As such, I’d like to share the following points on why my wife and I choose to give back to the program that so enriched our lives:

A pattern of giving: If there’s one thing I genuinely took away from BYU, it was that many thousands of individuals—around the world and over time—have contributed to make BYU the amazing and unique institution that it is. I recognized that pattern during my freshman year and committed to join those who make such a unique and wonderful institution possible.

Supporting my values: I find that one of the best uses of my philanthropic giving is to support a school which develops individuals with the skills, values, and goals that I espouse. I cannot think of a better way to improve the world around us than to support an institution that creates strong employees, strong citizens, and strong families.

Pride in my alma mater: I am immensely proud of the quality of the students coming out of the information systems program every year. From the first place finishes at domestic and international student competitions to the top-ten rankings earned by the school, I want to support the ability of the program to continue to deliver best-in-class education. It’s not only good for the current students. Success strengthens the degrees of all information systems alumni.

Touching individual lives: Most of all, I want to make a difference in individual lives. I want to help struggling students remain focused on their education and leave school without excessive debt. I want to support modern labs, classrooms, and first-class faculty to create an environment which produces individuals who will be a force for good in the world. I encourage each of you to also choose to give back. It’s a choice that will bless not only your life, but many lives and generations to come.

Kevin Matthew Kline Ball began his career with ExxonMobil Information Technology as an intern in 2002. A year later, following graduation from the MISM program, Ball joined the company full time. He has worked in numerous positions over the intervening years, both in IT as well as in the business lines. Ball was recently promoted as a global IT manager and moved to Bangkok, Thailand, where he manages a large, global team responsible for supporting ExxonMobil’s IT applications. Ball is actively involved in several community organizations, including coaching local sports and serving in his church congregation. In conjunction with ExxonMobil, he has worked with or sponsored activities for United Way, Junior Achievement, and Habitat for Humanity.