A family foundation established by a Millikin alumni couple has given $100,000 to the university to be used to provide scholarships for students in need. The grant was presented over the summer by the T.S. and Juanita Ballance Foundation of Decatur, which was established in 2009 by the late Thomas Stephen "Steve" Ballance, a 1941 Millikin graduate, and his wife, Juanita, a 1956 Millikin graduate.
The funds were used to establish three Millikin scholarship funds: A $10,000 scholarship for a deserving student in elementary education; a $10,000 scholarship for a deserving student in accounting or business; and $80,000 in general scholarship funds to be used by the university to assist deserving students in any field of study.
"As we discussed with the Ballance Foundation officers, Millikin is awarding these tuition scholarships to students with a demonstrated financial need who are working – contributing through their own toil to their educational expenses – while earning a Millikin degree," says Vice President of Alumni and Development Dave Brandon. "Since Mr. Ballance worked as a student to earn the money he needed to complete his Millikin degree, we at Millikin feel strongly that he would have enjoyed knowing that his support is going to 'help those who help themselves.' This investment by the Ballance Foundation will help open doors that might otherwise have remained closed for these students and help them as they strive to become the kind of high-quality Millikin graduate who goes on to serve, give back and advance the quality of life in Decatur and beyond."
Steve Ballance served as president of BJ Industries Inc. from 1975 until his death in 2011. The company operated Jarvis Drilling Company, which had formerly been known as S.D. Jarvis Company before Ballance, a long-time employee, purchased it. Ballance was a life member of the Stephen Decatur Lodge, a member of the Decatur Noon Kiwanis Club for more than 50 years, and also a member of Decatur's Central Christian Church for more than 50 years, serving as a deacon for the church for many years. Juanita Ballance is a retired teacher who taught for the Mt. Zion School District. The couple raised two daughters. Charlotte Ballance remains active in the Ballance Foundation.
"Millikin welcomes this generous philanthropy, providing students in need with the resources required to achieve their dream of a Millikin education," Brandon says.