The George and Frances Ball Foundation and Ball State University are partnering to create an endowed scholarship initiative that will significantly increase financial assistance for undergraduate students from Indiana.
The George and Frances Ball Scholars Program also provides incentive for new donors to support Ball State students by matching each dollar raised by Ball State up to $5 million. The initiative will be the largest single investment in student scholarship funding in the University’s 101-year history.
Leaders from Ball State and the George and Frances Ball Foundation announced the initiative on February 20 at the Ball State Alumni Center.
“The George and Frances Ball Scholars Program will double the impact of any gifts we make to new and existing scholarships on behalf of our undergraduate students from Indiana,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “This extraordinary gift will have a pronounced impact on our University’s ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest students from Indiana.”
“These gifts will honor our founders’ courage and their commitment to our University,” he said. “And they will help us fulfill our mission to prepare our students to have fulfilling careers and to lead meaningful lives.”
Thomas Kinghorn, the George and Frances Ball Foundation Chief Executive officer and President, said the new initiative will build upon the University’s positive trajectory as Ball State engages students in educational, research, and creative endeavors that empower graduates to lead lives enriched by lifelong learning and service.
“All of us can be key players in providing an improved future for thousands of college-aged young people — and, at the same time, we are building the economy of the region and the state,” said CEO Kinghorn, who served as Ball State’s vice president for business affairs and treasurer from 1980 to 2009.
He noted the new scholarship effort also compliments the George and Frances Ball Foundation’s “Cradle to Career Pathway to Success initiative,” which is tied to building a brighter future for individuals and communities.
“The University can’t do it without assistance, and that’s why the George and Frances Ball Foundation is pleased to provide this matching grant,” CEO Kinghorn said. Our thought is if we can all hop on this train, it will help secure the future for generations of Ball State students and graduates.”
The criteria for matching scholarship gifts or pledges are:
1 for 1 match for gifts or pledges of $25K-$250K to establish new, unrestricted Legacy Endowed Scholarships. The George and Frances Ball Foundation will also provide matching dollars for new money going to current endowments that fit the criteria.
1 for 1 match for new gifts of $1,000 or more not earmarked for a new or existing scholarship. These gifts and their matches will be placed in the George and Frances Ball Scholars Fund.
President Mearns noted that Ball State and the George and Frances Ball Foundation have collaborated on numerous projects since George A. Ball — one of five brothers who founded the University in 1918 — and his wife, Frances, created a private organization in 1937 to extend the family’s commitment to the community.
The George and Frances Ball Foundation has contributed a total of $40 million to the University’s capital campaigns, including its first, “Wings for the Future,” in 1988.
These significant philanthropic investments have funded new scholarships, created new faculty positions, and allowed for enhancements to Ball State’s academic programs and facilities.
“The George and Frances Ball Foundation has been instrumental in ensuring the economic and cultural vitality of east central Indiana,” President Mearns said. “Today, the Foundation continues the legacy of advancing causes that were important to George, Frances, and their daughter, Elisabeth — from promoting arts, culture, and civic engagement in our community to driving educational attainment in Muncie and Delaware County.”
For more information about scholarship and award opportunities offered at Ball State, visit the University's Financial Aid and Scholarships website.