100-year-old Ball Family Member to Receive Honorary Degree at 2019 Commencement
MUNCIE, Ind.(NewsLink) - The oldest living member of the Ball family will be receiving a honorary diploma at Ball State’s Spring Commencement.
Lucina Ball Eckerson Moxley, 100, is the granddaughter of William C Ball, one of the five Ball Brothers who donated what is now the Administration Building and its surrounding land to establish Ball State in 1918, the same year Moxley was born. Moxley grew up in Muncie and attended Burris Laboratory School as a young child. She later graduated from Tudor Hall, now Park Tudor, in Indianapolis in 1936. After high school, Moxley attended Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York, where she graduated in 1939, then went to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
Moxley married World War Two surgeon Edwin B Eckerson in 1940. Eckerson was killed in 1945 on the World War Two hospital ship USS Comfort when a Japanese suicide plane crashed into the ship, according to the honorary degree nomination report. She married her second husband, Sampson “Sam” Moxley, in 1948. Sam Moxley later became owner of the Haag Drug Store, an Indiana pharmacy chain.
Moxley lived a prosperous life before finally settling down in Indianapolis. One of the things that let her live her life to the fullest was her passion for music, which she began studying at age four.
“It was fun and well, I kept on with it, and I thought it was kind of important to know how to do it,” said Moxley.
During her younger years, she was able to work with several composers and musicians, like Fabien Sevitzky and Monahem Pressler.
“Sevitzky was our symphony conductor and he was rather powerful and ran the roost and Monahem Pressler, on the other hand, was very retiring as a person, but he knew so much and was right on top of everything,… he played beautifully, taught beautifully and I studied with him for, oh I guess 15 years...,” said Moxley.
She was also an active supporter of the musical arts in Indianapolis. Moxley’s life also allowed her to explore writing. She wrote several books, including three children’s books titled “Dandy Dollhouse,” a book titled “All About Sam” about her second husband, a book documenting her travels, a book about teaching piano, and an autobiography in which she discusses what it was like growing up in the Ball family. “I was a lot by myself, but I had a lot of friends in school and I enjoyed everything I did with my friends...,” said Moxley about how tough life sometimes was when she was growing up.
Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns will present Moxley with her honorary arts degree at the 2019 commencement ceremony as part of the centennial year celebrations. This degree is something Mearns is very excited to present.
“Conferring honorary degrees at commencement is always an exciting opportunity for me and for the institution to recognize individuals for their extraordinary contributions, either their contributions to our university or their contributions more broadly. So, this one is gonna be a particularly special one as we conclude our centennial celebration so I, I’m very much looking forward to it,” said Mearns.
He also hopes it will inspire students to get involved in their communities as well.
“[Moxley] has had significant contributions across the state... we certainly hope that our students as they graduate from the institution will continue to give back to the university, but perhaps more importantly be invested in their communities,” Mearns said.
Moxley will be presented with the honorary degree at the 2019 commencement on May 4 on the Arts Terrace outside North Quad.