George and Frances Ball Foundation Commits $150,000 to Scholarships for Muncie Central Students

A view inside the George and Frances Ball Foundation lobby inside the newly remodeled Emens Auditorium. Photo by Mike RhodesA view inside the George and Frances Ball Foundation lobby inside the newly remodeled Emens Auditorium. Photo by Mike Rhodes

By: BSU News—

MUNCIE, Indiana – As part of an effort to help transform the Muncie community, the George and Frances Ball Foundation is committing $150,000 to a scholarship fund for first-generation Muncie Central students who plan to attend Ball State University.

The gift by the Muncie-based foundation brings the Mearns/Proud Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to about $430,000. The scholarship was announced during Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns’ installation on Sept. 8.

President Mearns and his wife, Jennifer, are committing $100,000 to establish the scholarship. The couple named this scholarship in honor and memory of their parents, who highly valued education.

“I am grateful to the George and Frances Ball Foundation as it continues the work of the Ball family,” President Mearns said. “Ball State was founded on the generosity of the Ball brothers in 1918, and the Ball family has been firmly on the side of Ball State and the Muncie community.”

President Mearns, who began his tenure in May, was formally installed as the university’s 17th president with the theme of “Better Together” to celebrate the long-standing partnership between Ball State and Muncie.

Tom Bracken, president of the George and Frances Ball Foundation in downtown Muncie, called the scholarship a tremendous step in bettering the community.

“There is no doubt that this scholarship fund will enhance the community, providing opportunities to well-deserving Muncie students,” said Bracken, who is the fourth generation of the Ball family to serve on the University’s Board of Trustees. “We are pleased to be able to contribute and demonstrate our commitment to follow up on President Mearns’ promise for Ball State and the community to be better together.”

The contribution from the foundation is in addition to last week’s gifts from  President and Mrs. Mearns and Ball State’s Board of Trustees, which committed an additional $150,000 from the savings of not having an extravagant installation. Members of the Ball State University Foundation Board of Directors and the Ball State Board of Trustees also personally contributed more than $30,000 to the scholarship.

About Ball State University

Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, Ball State is one of Indiana’s signature universities and an economic driver for the state. The University’s 2017-18 enrollment – 22,513 – is the largest in school history and its incoming freshman class of 4,002 is just three students shy of another school record. Every Indiana county is represented among Ball State’s student body, as are all 50 states and 69 countries. Ball State’s 731-acre campus is large enough to accommodate premier facilities and 19 NCAA Division 1 sports, but small enough to ensure the friendliness, personal attention and access that are the hallmarks of the University, where 90 percent of classes are taught by faculty. Ball State will have its smallest tuition increase in 41 years for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

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Geoffrey S. Mearns Installed as 17th President of Ball State University and Announces Scholarships for Muncie Central Students