Topic: Scholarships

February 15, 2013

Longtime benefactor Mary Jane Sursa has given a $350,000 gift to the university's College of Applied Sciences and Technology (CAST) to be used for the establishment of a distinguished professorship in her name.

"We are delighted to have this opportunity for our college through the generosity of the Sursa family," said Mitch Whaley, CAST dean. "The position is new, and we plan to begin the process of filling it shortly."

The Mary Jane Sursa Distinguished Professorship in Nursing is the latest in the family’s long history of giving to Ball State. Together, Mary Jane and her late husband, David, were passionate supporters of the arts and received the university's President's Medal of Distinction in 1989. That same year, they established the Sursa Distinguished Professorship in Fine Arts and in 2000 donated funds for the David and Mary Jane Sursa Fine Arts Endowment. Their most visible symbol of generosity is the $1 million, 50-stop pipe organ inside Sursa Performance Hall at the Music Instruction Building, which opened in 2004.

Mary Jane Sursa's latest gift pays homage to her own roots as a nurse. She was a graduate of the Methodist Hospital School of nursing and spent 37 years as a volunteer nurse at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

Both together and separately, the Sursas served in numerous arts organizations such as the Indiana Arts Commission, Indiana Committee for the Humanities, Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Muncie Symphony League, Friends of the David Owsley Museum of Art, WIPB Public Television and Muncie Art Student’s League.

The Sursas were married 56 years and have four children, Ann Carney, Janet Sharp, Charles Sursa and Laura Crampton.