When Aaron B. “A.B.” Floyd started at Ball State University in 1956, there were few career opportunities for African-Americans, even those who graduated from college.

However, armed with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force from Ball State’s ROTC program, Floyd quickly began advancing his career.

“My education at Ball State placed me at the forefront of the computer era,” he says. “I built my career in the Air Force and my entrepreneurial career afterward using these skill sets.”

Before retiring, he earned the rank of colonel and used his entrepreneurial skills to launch a highly successful defense industry business, Aaron B. Floyd Enterprises Inc., in 1989.

While he has seen much success in his lifetime, Floyd says giving back by way of scholarship is one way he wants to help students reach their goals.

“My wife, LaVon, and I created the Floyd Leadership Scholars program because I was blessed to realize my dreams through my experiences at Ball State and in the United States Air Force,” he says. “We would like to help other young people, especially minority students, come to campus and have an opportunity to fulfill their potential and realize their dreams.”

The scholars program will reward high-ability students, especially those who have participated in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or the Center for Leadership Development in Indianapolis.

“Ball State created a springboard for my future successful careers in the Air Force and in business and motivated me to give back to my community,” Floyd says. “I feel certain that Ball State can help launch the careers of present and future Floyd Scholars as well.”

A diverse student population is a key goal of Ball State’s Education Redefined: Strategic Plan 2007-2012. Tom Taylor, vice president for enrollment, marketing, and communications, says the program helps raise the bar in that area.

“By attracting bright, talented minority students with strong leadership skills, these scholarships will help increase expectations and deepen and strengthen the rich texture of our student population,” he says. 

Learn how your gift to this scholarship or another endeavor can help Ball State students.