Trustees waive fees for fireman’s children; name museum, greenhouse after benefactors

Topics: Administrative, Alumni

July 22, 2011

MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball State University Board of Trustees has embraced a resolution to waive room and board fees for the three children of fallen Muncie fireman Scott Davis.

"Ball State respectfully acknowledges the ultimate sacrifice paid by Mr. Davis, who died in the line of duty," President Jo Ann M. Gora said. "We want to help make it possible for his children — Jake, Emma and Max — to get a college education here. This resolution is roundly supported by all Ball State administration and our board."

In other business, trustees expressed deep appreciation for David Owsley's significant donations over time, resolving that the Ball State Museum of Art be named the David Owsley Museum of Art, Ball State University, as a lasting tribute to his leadership, service and dedication to expanding the cultural horizons of university students and faculty, the citizens of Muncie and campus visitors from across the country.

"Mr. Owsley has brought much credit to Ball State through his significant contributions to the art world, higher education and the pursuit of diversity, all while enriching the cultural life of Muncie, the surrounding community and the state of Indiana," Gora said. "Mr. Owsley's continued and distinctive support of the Museum of Art provides living proof of the deep and abiding commitment that so many members of the Ball family have shown to the museum in its more than 75 years of existence."

Owsley — the son of Alvin and Lucy Ball Owsley and the grandson of Frank C. Ball, a key benefactor from the early days of the Ball State Museum of Art — has furnished the museum with more than 2,300 works of art from his personal collection, including works from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Ball State previously recognized Owsley's generosity by dedicating the David T. Owsley Ethnographic Gallery in 1978, awarding him the President's Medal of Distinction in 1989 and bestowing on him an honorary doctor of humanities degree in 2005.  Most recently, he told the university he would bequeath $5 million to the museum as an endowment together with his bequest of approximately 90 percent of the works in his extensive art collection.

Trustees also approved naming the new greenhouse at Christy Woods after Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard. Joe Rinard, a retired dentist from Fort Wayne, donated $600,000 to Ball State in memory of his late wife, Alice Pursley Rinard, who graduated from Ball State with a bachelor of arts in English in 1954 and earned a master of arts in speech pathology in 1963.

Rinard has funded the construction of a 1,500-square-foot, free-standing greenhouse that will help preserve the world-renowned Wheeler Orchid Collection and Species Bank as well as other significant horticultural enhancements. The project, in memory of his wife, acknowledges her passion for gardening and a special fondness for orchids.  A portion of his donation funds the Dr. Joe R. and Alice Pursley Rinard Scholarship at Ball State, to provide scholarships to students who major in speech pathology and audiology.

In other business, the trustees adopted a proposal from the university's Equal Representation Committee (ERC) that addressed several policies affecting service employees — including a wage increase for the 2011-12 fiscal year.  In accordance with the "conditions of cooperation" between the university and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 293, the ERC's membership includes representation from both the university and AFSCME Local 293.

By Joan Todd, Executive Director of Public Relations

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