Student Spotlight: Jacob Ballington


Photo by: Ainara Eizaguirre Irastorza

Jacob Ballington, math and finance double major, looks to improve the Honors community through new events and projects.

Senior math and finance double major Jacob Ballington is entering his final fall semester at Francis Marion University (FMU) and hopes to make it the best one yet, especially for the students of the Honors Program.  

Ballington is currently the president of the Honors Students Activities Board, where he plans and organizes events for students in the Honors Program. Ballington’s term ends in mid-September of this year, but he plans to run for re-election.  

After holding the presidency for a year, Ballington said he has high hopes for the Honors Program.  

“My goals for the Honors Program are to continue providing great events to FMU’s best and brightest students,” Ballington said. “Honors students work really hard both academically and outside of the classroom. Honors events are meant to provide a fun experience away from the hustle and bustle, but also to allow students to network with future leaders.”  

One of the events Ballington planned for the program was a ‘T-Shirt Tie-Dye with Cupcakes’ event that took place on Sept. 8 outside the Honors Center on campus.  

“As far as Honors events go, we just had the most successful one in a while,” Ballington said. “Around 75 people showed up to tie-dye, and we already have over 30 pre-signed up for the next event. It looks to be the start of one of honors’ most successful years. I’m really excited for that.”  

Ballington said he is excited for the next Honors event, a trip to Myrtle Beach for Honors students on Sept. 17.  

“The beach trip is something I’m really excited for because it’s not something Honors has really done before,” Ballington said. “It will allow us to get people off campus and connecting, hopefully forming the lifelong friendships that I want to be possible through the Honors program.”  

On top of having his leadership role in the Honors Program, Ballington is also a member of other on-campus different programs and societies where he has received sets of awards. Ballington is involved in math, business, and leadership honors societies and won third place at the Pee Dee Idea Challenge entrepreneurship competition.  

Being a part of so many organizations comes with its share of responsibilities, such as the need for good time management.  

“Managing school can be tough,” Ballington said. “I have 16 credit hours, and I have a part-time role at EmployReward Solutions as a data engineer. The best way I manage my schedule is sticking to a strict calendar and avoiding procrastination whenever possible.”  

Ballington has a secret trick to beat procrastination at FMU as well.   

“While I don’t live on campus anymore, when I did, my favorite spot to study was in the back of the first floor of the library,” Ballington said. “Something about the environment, silence and copious amounts of caffeine made it easy to focus.”  

As the HSAC president, Ballington tries to be someone freshmen can look up to.  

“My biggest piece of advice to freshmen is to get out of your rooms,” Ballington said. “Go to everything, even if you think you’ll hate it. The people you will meet are going to change your college experience forever. The value of college is not the classroom; it’s the community.”  

As he is entering his final year and about to take the next step forward in his life, Ballington said he has done a lot of reflection on his past three years here and accredits much of his success to FMU.  

“FMU has helped set me on a trajectory to get a job as a data scientist or attend grad school,” Ballington said. “I received a piece of advice from a professor freshman year to focus on opening doors rather than walking through them. Hopefully, I can continue to do that all my life.”