Muncie grads get a boost with books

Topic: Scholarships

October 15, 2009

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President Jo Ann M. Gora is flanked by Hurley Goodall (right) and Eric King, superintendent of Muncie Community Schools, at the Oct. 14 announcement that Ball State is establishing — effective next fall — a new scholarship program benefiting graduates of Muncie Central and Muncie Southside high schools.
Public high school students in Muncie are the beneficiaries of a new scholarship initiative created by Ball State University in honor of native son and longtime friend of the university Hurley Goodall and his late wife, Fredine.

Beginning next fall, select students that graduated from Muncie Central and Muncie Southside high schools and enroll at Ball State will be eligible to receive special $1,000 freshman book awards to assist them with the important transition between high school and college. University President Jo Ann M. Gora explained the new scholarship is being named the Hurley and Fredine Goodall 21st Century Scholars Freshman Book Award in recognition of the couple's "lifetime commitment to the community of Muncie, and especially its children."

One of the first two African-American members of the Muncie Fire Department, which he joined in 1958, Hurley Goodall also was the first African-American elected to the Muncie Community Schools Board of Education, on which he served for almost two decades. In addition, the former Indiana state representative (1978-'92) is the co-author of two local histories of Muncie and remains an active voice for civil rights in Muncie, Delaware County and throughout Indiana. He already is a recipient of the President's Medal of Distinction and, in 2007, an honorary doctor of laws degree from Ball State.

"Throughout his professional life, Hurley Goodall has been a consistent and forceful advocate for both education and the citizens of Muncie," Gora said, with Goodall at her side. "In establishing this new scholarship opportunity, we at Ball State seek to continue our shared concern for the community and, particularly, its many public high school students. We believe that the Hurley and Fredine Goodall Freshman Book Awards will not only facilitate the success of its recipients, but also encourage other local students and their families to pursue the rewards of higher education."

To qualify for the new book awards, entering freshmen from Muncie need only be participants in Indiana's 21st Century Scholars Program, said Tom Taylor, the university's vice president for enrollment, marketing and communications.

Launched in 1990 as the Hoosier state's way of raising the educational aspirations of low- and moderate-income families, the program aims to ensure that all Indiana families can afford a college education for their children. Interested students may register for the program in the 7th or 8th grade and, in exchange for a pledge of good citizenship and good academic performance, they are guaranteed four years of college tuition assistance at any participating Indiana college or university — an option for Indiana students that Gora described as "exceptional."

This year, the university enrolled approximately 15 21st Century Scholars from the two Muncie high schools, Taylor reported. However, Muncie Community Schools Superintendent Eric King, who was joined at the College "Go" Week press conference announcing the new initiative by State Sen. Sue Errington and State Rep. Dennis Tyler, indicated that considerably more seniors currently attending Central and Southside could potentially qualify for the book awards when they begin next fall. That is, if they choose Ball State for their post-secondary education.

That certainly is the hope of Goodall, who praised President Gora and the university for establishing the awards and urged more local students to take advantage of them by making Ball State their first choice for college.

"The basis of a good life is a good education, and I want to thank Ball State for reaching out to the African-American community and all of our students in Muncie to let them know that these kinds of opportunities are available," he said.

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