Teaching Scholarship Created with a Gift of Real Estate

Famous for wearing statement T-shirts, retired educator Marilyn Sue Skinner, BS '58, MA '61, has one particular garment which she wears very proudly. It reads: "Teachers Make All Other Professions Possible." skinner

During her 37 years in the Kokomo, Indiana, school system, Skinner, who also holds a doctorate, served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and the first female assistant superintendent. It's no surprise that when she decided to create a scholarship at the Ball State University Foundation, the criteria focused on the teaching profession.

Through a real estate gift of the family home, the Skinner-Wolf Scholarship Fund was established to honor Skinner's late parents and her late sister, Norma Skinner Wolf, who also earned a teaching degree from Ball State in 1951. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be undergraduates with a major in the Teachers College.

"I credit all of my success to Ball State for the background and foundation it gave me. It made me what I am today," said Skinner, who after retirement is serving on five scholarship boards for organizations within her own community. "I hope this will help encourage others to go into education. There's a real need for teachers everywhere."

The love and importance of education that was instilled in the sisters' lives by their parents was passed on to Wolf's six children, who Skinner or "Aunt Sue" affectionately calls "the kids." All six are college graduates, and three have also completed their master's degrees. Two became teachers, continuing the family tradition.

Skinner recalled discussing the gift of the family home with all of her nieces and nephews, who reside in Connecticut, Illinois, and California. They enthusiastically agreed that setting up the scholarship with a gift of real estate was an excellent way to honor their mother and grandparents.

"The kids are successful in their own lives, and didn't need the home," said Skinner, who still remains very close to them. "I'm hoping they will eventually add to the scholarship fund in the future."

Niece and Ball State alumna Tracy McGrath, BS '83, nominated her Aunt Sue for the university's Distinguished Alumni Award, which Skinner received in 1984.

"I nominated her because she is an incredible person who still does so much for the university," said McGrath. "She gives and gives of herself, never wanting anything back. She has made a profound influence on me, my brothers and sisters, and so many others."

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