David Letterman Donating 'Late Show' Memorabilia to Alma Mater

Ball State University to house props, sets and Emmys accumulated during comedian's storied career

David Letterman will gift a trove of memorabilia and other items from his storied late-night career to his alma mater, Ball State University Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty

David Letterman will donate a trove of Late Show memorabilia, as well as other items from his storied career, to his alma mater, Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana.

The gifts will comprise the David Letterman Experience and while no specific items were named, the collection will include the retired late-night legend's Emmys alongside props and set pieces used on both CBS' Late Show and NBC's Late Night. The collection will be housed in the Letterman Building, which is home to Ball State's telecommunications program.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the gift was announced at a Ball State event featuring Letterman in conversation with directors Spike Jonze and Bennett Miller. Prior to the chat, Letterman touched on the potential significance of the David Letterman Experience, cracking: "So you can sit at a desk and pretend to talk to an actor?"

Ball State President Paul W. Ferguson, however, expanded on the gift's purpose, noting, "Important to both Dave and Ball State is his continuing legacy for Ball State students, who will learn from his example and impact on the entertainment and broadcast industry."

Letterman left his post at The Late Show in May after 22 seasons and over 30 years in late-night television. The comedian has remained relatively quiet since then, but announced that he would serve as a correspondent on the second season of the upcoming climate change documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously.

The show's producers, Joel Bach and David Gelber, reached out to Letterman after noticing his interest in the environment during interviews with scientists on The Late Show. "He seemed to perk up when this issue came across his lap," Bach said. "We reached out to him to see if he'd want to be part of this, and he said, 'Absolutely.' He said [that climate change is] something he does think about a lot."