September 14, 2017
The George and Frances Ball Foundation is committing $150,000 to the Mearns/Proud Family Endowed Scholarship Fund. The gift,
unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 13 during a community forum about Muncie neighborhoods and education, will support a scholarship fund for first-generation Muncie Central students who plan to attend Ball State University.
As part of an effort to help transform the Muncie community, the George and Frances Ball Foundation is committing $150,000 to a scholarship fund for first-generation Muncie Central students who plan to attend Ball State University.
The gift by the Muncie-based foundation brings the Mearns/Proud Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to about $430,000. The scholarship was announced during Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns’ installation on Sept. 8.
President Mearns and his wife, Jennifer, are committing $100,000 to establish the scholarship. The couple named this scholarship in honor and memory of their parents, who highly valued education.
“I am grateful to the George and Frances Ball Foundation as it continues the work of the Ball family,” President Mearns said. “Ball State was founded on the generosity of the Ball brothers in 1918, and the Ball family has been firmly on the side of Ball State and the Muncie community.”
President Mearns, who began his tenure in May, was formally installed as the university’s 17th president with the theme of “Better Together” to celebrate the long-standing partnership between Ball State and Muncie.
Tom Bracken, president of the George and Frances Ball Foundation in downtown Muncie, called the scholarship a tremendous step in bettering the community.
“There is no doubt that this scholarship fund will enhance the community, providing opportunities to well-deserving Muncie students,” said Bracken, who is the fourth generation of the Ball family to serve on the University’s Board of Trustees. “We are pleased to be able to contribute and demonstrate our commitment to follow up on President Mearns’ promise for Ball State and the community to be better together.”
The contribution from the foundation is in addition to last week’s gifts from President and Mrs. Mearns and Ball State’s Board of Trustees, which committed an additional $150,000 from the savings of not having an extravagant installation. Members of the Ball State University Foundation Board of Directors and the Ball State Board of Trustees also personally contributed more than $30,000 to the scholarship.