Recent Gift of Alexander M. Bracken Portrait on Display in Bracken Library
Students and faculty on Bracken Library’s second floor near the Archives and Special Collections area have commented on the recently hung portrait of Mr. Alexander M. Bracken, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bracken and Mrs. Elizabeth Bracken-Wiese. This is the University Libraries’ second portrait of Mr. Bracken, painted several years after the first.
The Alexander M. Bracken Library was named after Mr. Bracken in 1976 by the Board of Trustees to honor him because of his talents, dedication, and educational statesmanship that resulted in lasting contributions to the growth, development, and stature of Ball State University.
By way of background, Mr. Bracken was born on May 7, 1908, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and later moved to Muncie, Indiana, in his youth, where he graduated from Muncie’s Central High School. After high school, he attended the University of Michigan, where he earned Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees.
In 1932, Mr. Bracken married Rosemary W. Ball, daughter of Frank C. Ball, co-founder of the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company. A year later, he became an attorney for the Ball Brothers Company, beginning a 45-year career with the company, which culminated in his serving as chairman of the board of the Ball Corporation from 1970 to 1978.
In 1954, Mr. Bracken was appointed to the State Teachers College Board, later renamed the Ball State University Board of Trustees in 1965. He was elected president of the board in 1958 and served in that capacity until 1980.
The period of Mr. Bracken’s presidency was one of significant growth for Ball State, with enrollment more than tripling during this era. On April 22, 1991, Mr. Bracken passed away at the age of 82. ◙