Photo shows Ball State's statue of Beneficence

[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.

This 1937 photo shows former University of Wisconsin President Glenn Frank, George A. Ball and then-Ball State President L.A. Pittenger at the dedication of Beneficence.

The Sept. 26, 1937, dedication of Beneficence drew (from left) former University of Wisconsin President Glenn Frank, who was the featured speaker; George A. Ball; Ball State President L.A. Pittenger; and Frank C. Ball. (Ball State archive photo)

A May 1973 photo shows students coming and going near the Beneficence statue.

Hairstyle and fashion trends come and go, but this May 1973 campus image shows that Benny is always in season. (Ball State archive photo)

A 2013 photo shows two people getting their photo taken in front of Beneficence during commencement.

Nowadays, Benny is the backdrop of many selfie shots and other photographs, as this 2013 picture illustrates. (Ball State archive photo)

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