Ball State Teachers College Receives Largest Ever Gift

MUNCIE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Chicago couple has committed a nearly $1.5 million gift to the Teacher’s College at Ball State University. The university says the gift from alumna Michelle Ryan and her husband, Jim, will establish the Michelle and Jim Ryan Family Scholarship, the Ryan Family Navigators Program and the Ryan Fellowship for Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation.

“Both Jim and I feel it is really important to pay it forward and help others. The bottom line is that an opportunity for students from underserved communities to gain a solid education from a strong university like Ball State could really impact our future teachers in so many different ways,” Michelle Ryan said. “We are tremendously proud of the Ryan Family Scholarship and the Ryan Navigators program that will provide both educational opportunities and resources for future Ball State students.”

The family scholarship will cover all costs, tuition, fees and room and board, for 16 “Ryan Scholars” over the next seven years. The Ryan family says the scholarship will target future teachers with diverse backgrounds.

The family says the Ryan Family Scholars Program will first be awarded in the 2021-2022 academic year, with recipients being selected on criteria from the family and Teachers College.

The Ryan Family Navigators Program will serve as a hub for university-wide student services to all Teachers College students. The family says the funding will also support the hiring of a director and other professional personnel, along with physical space to hold the program. 

The Ryan Fellowship for Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation will offer stipends to 18 undergraduate students enrolled in the Schools Within Context of Community program, which is a semester-long program for future teachers based on equity and community engagement.

Click here for more information on the scholarships and programs.