MUNCIE – A century after their ancestors helped create what today is Ball State University, members of the Ball family from across the nation came to campus to celebrate the past 100 years.
Dozens of descendants of the original five Ball brothers gathered on Oct. 18 for the Ball Family Centennial Celebration in the Fine Arts Building (home of the David Owsley Museum of Art) to observe the milestone, according to a release.
Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns said the remarkable relationship between the family and the university is as solid today as it was 100 years ago when the Ball brothers purchased the land and buildings of a defunct institution and donated them to the State of Indiana.
►TIMELINE: More than 100 years of Ball State history
This gift became the Indiana State Normal School Eastern Division, which opened in 1918 to meet Indiana’s need for more and better teachers.
“We share our deep and abiding gratitude for the women and men who founded this institution — and for the family whose vision and sustained generosity continue to transform the lives of our faculty, staff, and students,” Mearns said. “On behalf of the entire university community, to you — the members of the Ball family who have joined us this evening — thank you very much.
“That relationship is special. That relationship is unique. And that relationship is why I am so very honored to lead this institution at such a pivotal time in our history.”