When Carolyn Jean Miller passed away at age 60, her daughters decided the best way to honor their mother’s belief in the power and importance of education was to establish a scholarship that encourages others to learn.

Carolyn was a nurse and a native of Muncie, Indiana. She was a single mother when she attended Ball State University, and the scholarship her daughters, Karen and Lisa Miller, created supports nontraditional students, with a preference for single parents.

“We decided that’s what we wanted to do with the money we inherited from our mother,” Karen Miller says. “We wanted it to be a permanent endowment, so we donated enough into the initial fund to make that happen.

“We were grateful that our mother had a nursing degree and profession to fall back on. She was a good nurse and well-respected by others. A lot of people who would normally give to my mother at birthdays or anniversaries now contribute to the scholarship instead.”

The endowment for the Carolyn Jean Miller Memorial Nursing Scholarship is held by the Ball State University Foundation.

“We felt that nontraditional students may have a harder time getting scholarships,” Karen explains. “Plus, if they were trying to work and raise a family while going to school, the money would help.”

Much to the sisters’ delight, Carolyn Jean Miller’s legacy has been passed on, not just in terms of education and accomplishment, but also in strength of character.

“She’d be pleased with the recipients of the award,” Karen says. “We hope that the recipients are always those with values, work ethic, and an appreciation of the importance of family. Mom would be happy.”

Kelly Jo Eastus, a previous recipient of the scholarship, says she will always be grateful for the award. “Receiving this scholarship was a deep honor and privilege because it allowed me to continue my path of becoming a nurse, which may not have been possible otherwise. I am now an ER registered nurse, and I can’t think of a more perfect job for me.”

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