The Whitman College Magazine Online
Inside Cover

May 2002

George & Nancy Ball set example of financial support for Whitman

If you speak to alumni who graduated after 1960, many will point to the same gentle man as a confidant, father figure, moral anchor, and friend. All know him simply as Dr. Ball.

They may not know that he also has regularly supported Whitman College and its students in another way — financially.

Professor George Ball first set foot on the Whitman campus in 1960, an ordained minister with a Ph.D. in religion in higher education. Since then, he has taught, advised, counseled, and befriended thousands of students. In fact, Dr. Ball continues as a part-time teacher and counselor even though he officially retired in 1980.

“Though Whitman did not have to do it, I am extremely grateful that it has been willing to allow me to continue teaching and to remain in active association with students. They are to me a second family. I wouldn’t be happy only sweeping my sidewalks or raking the leaves. I need the networking of my circle of friends.”

That network includes many former students hosted, housed, and sponsored by George Ball and his wife, Nancy, a former grade school teacher. Along with her husband, Nancy Ball is affectionately remembered by numerous alumni who spent quality time at their home — from international students who lived there to those who took part in “cell group” discussions in the Ball living room.

A few years ago, Dr. Ball’s former students honored him by combining resources and setting up the George Ball Scholarship, a fund that currently is valued at more than $365,000.

The Balls themselves have regularly given monetary contributions to Whitman over the years. Recently, they invested in a gift annuity that will pay them an income every year for the rest of their lives, and at their deaths, the money left in the annuity will be given to Whitman College for its future.

“It’s a way of saying that coming to Whitman turned out to be one of the very few truly important, defining and fortunate decisions of my life,” said Dr. Ball. “I’m supremely grateful for all that Whitman has done for me and my family over the years. I can still hear the sound of John Stanton’s voice on a tape he made when he was a student here: ‘I have a lot of love for this place.’ He was speaking for me.”

Since the gift annuity also has personal financial advantages, Dr. Ball added, “it seems to me such a good move that I do not have my normal battle between my practical and my charitable impulses!”

Meanwhile, whether he is presenting a Baccalaureate address in Cordiner Hall or riding his bike from his home to his office in Memorial Building, professor George Ball continues to watch over his beloved College and its students.

For information about gift annuities, contact Mark Kajita, director of planned giving, Development Office, Whitman College, 509-527-5989.

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