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Vol 38  No 11
March 16, 2006


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Donation valued at over $1.3 million

Gift creates generous entrance scholarships

By Wade Kearley

It might be difficult to imagine a legacy that can be more meaningful than one that offers hope and tangible encouragement to future generations. But that is exactly what Dr. Warren and Catherine Ball have done in perpetuity with the bequest of their entire estate, valued at over $1.3 million, to Memorial University of Newfoundland.

The gift will be used to create the Warren and Catherine Ball Memorial Entrance Scholarships valued at approximately $7,500 per year for up to four years of study to students entering Memorial University for the first time. This scholarship will be awarded on the basis of scholarship standing by the senate committee on undergraduate scholarships and financial aid. The number of annual scholarships will be based on a portion of the annual income as per the awards program spending policy.

A ceremonial cheque was presented Thursday, March 16, at a campus event, the Legacy Tea, sponsored by Alumni Affairs and Development to recognize those who have made a bequest to Memorial University. Presenting the cheque to Memorial President Dr. Axel Meisen, on behalf of the late Dr. and Mrs. Ball, was their great grand niece Katherine Taylor-Hood, aged three years, and grand nephew Christopher Ball, aged nine years. Christopherís mother Donna Ball is the manager of finance and administration in the School of Music.

Born in Badger, Newfoundland, Warren Ball was one of three boys and two girls born to Ford and May Ball. During the Second World War, Dr. Ball served with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He earned an engineering diploma from Memorial University College in 1942, and went on to complete an electrical and engineering degree at the Technical University of Nova Scotia in 1944. There he won the Governor Generalís Medal for outstanding academic achievement. In 1946 he earned a masterís degree in applied science from the University of Toronto where he met his future wife, Catherine Green, a graduate of library science.

In 1957 Dr. Ball received a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. He went on to work for Bell Telephone Laboratories in a division of the company concerned with technology for the aerospace program. His work there was so top secret that, at one point in the early 1960s, two members of the FBI showed up in Dr. Ballís hometown as part of a security check. For the last 22 years of his working career, Dr. Ball taught at the New Jersey Institute of Technology where in 1982, he was recognized with an award for teaching excellence. Dr. Ball retired in 1990 to Morristown, New Jersey. He was 70 years old at the time of his death in 1994.

Catherine Ball was very involved in the community and worked as a volunteer at the United Nations. Until her death in 2005, Ms. Ball supported the local church, the library and the school board. She, like her late husband, had a strong commitment to scholarship and to education as the foundation of a strong community. Their gift to Memorial University will be of extraordinary benefit to Memorialís students and will create a legacy of excellence that reflects on the commitment to education and the generosity that marks the lives of Catherine and Dr. Warren Ball, said assistant director Lynda Parsons, Alumni Affairs.

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