Maintaining Ties With Ball State
Benefiting From a Charitable Remainder Unitrust
Some people may view Muncie as a small, quiet town in the middle of a cornfield. But for Phil and Esther Ball, Muncie is a cultural center that has a little bit of everything.
Both Phil and Esther are natives of Muncie and have lived there most of their lives, enjoying the theater, museums, and sporting events on and around the Ball State campus.
They are of no relation to the Ball family that founded the university, but Phil and Esther label themselves as members of the "old and original Muncie Ball family." Phil's ancestors came to Delaware County, Ind., in 1810, and he believes they journeyed from Virginia on Conestoga wagons. His research shows that Ball State's Ball family came to Muncie in 1887 by train.
Regardless, Phil and Esther have always been close to Ball State. Phil grew up two blocks from the university and studied there for two years. He went on to earn his bachelor's (1940) and doctor of medicine (1942) degrees from Indiana University and doctor of medical science degree from the University of Minnesota in 1951.
Esther grew up a mile away from campus and earned two degrees from Ball State, her bachelor's in social sciences in 1940 and her master's in history in 1969. Esther marched in the commencement parade with David Letterman, who was graduating with his bachelor's degree.
Esther worked for J. Edgar Hoover as a cryptographer in the FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and then as a receptionist/typist in the Chicago field office during World War II. "I worked for military intelligence and decoded German text and data from German newspapers," Esther says. "I was eventually given instruction in the Russian language as well."
Phil, then a medical intern at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, and Esther married just before he went on to travel the world for 2½ years with the Navy. When he returned, they had their three children and moved multiple times across the country. Phil continued work as a physician while Esther participated in multiple local organizations and maintained the home.
Phil's demanding medical career eventually brought the family back to their home in Indiana, where they remain today. He has retired from medicine, but shares his wit and wisdom as a guest columnist for The Star Press in Muncie.
The Charitable Remainder Unitrust
To show their continuous support for Ball State, Phil and Esther established a charitable remainder unitrust. The trust provides them with income during their lifetimes, and then the remaining assets will be used to fund the Dr. W. Philip and Esther E. Ball Scholarship Fund, providing unrestricted funding for student scholarships. They also made a gift of life insurance several years ago.
"We talked to our attorneys about what we could do with some of our appreciated stock investments. They told us we could either give a lot away to Washington, D.C., in capital gains tax and other potential taxes-or give it to a worthy cause," Phil says. "We wanted to help students succeed at Ball State."