[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ard to believe it’s been 79 years since a dedication ceremony at University and Talley avenues brought people together to thank the Ball brothers for the millions of dollars in philanthropy that benefitted Muncie.
The community’s payback, of course, was Beneficence, a $50,000 statue designed and built by famed sculptor Daniel Chester French and whose five-pillar promenade was designed by architect Richard Henry Dana.
A lot has changed since the Sept. 26, 1937, dedication. Ball State Teachers College eventually became Ball State University. The campus and its enrollment have grown by leaps and bounds. But for decades, Benny has remained an iconic campus landmark that is often both a visitor’s first stop as well as a graduate’s parting shot from campus.