The Richard F. and Gladys B. Ball Art Education Scholarship Endowment Fund was established in August 1999.
Richard, MA '47, and his wife Gladys, MA '47, were respected artists, teachers, cooks, restaurant reviewers and world travelers, visiting more than 70 countries to explore local arts and crafts. Richard retired as a visual arts professor emeritus in 1977 after 30 years of teaching at UNC. Gladys taught in the public schools.
After Gladys' death in 2000, Richard established the Richard F. and Gladys M. Ball Art Education Scholarship Endowment, which was enriched through a bequest at the time of Richard's death in 2012.
To date the Balls have impacted dozens of students, like Kathy Riley and Nicole Schuler, who hope to share their passion for art and learning with children of all ages.
Kathy Riley is a 2018 recipient of the Richard F. and Gladys B. Ball Art Education Scholarship. Kathy is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Art Education and one day hopes to pursue a master's degree in Art Therapy. While homeschooling her three kids over the last 14 years, Kathy gained the confidence to return to school and find a way to help children with disabilities learn more effectively with art.
"I have dyslexic children, my husband is dyslexic, and I found that through homeschooling I could use art in order to teach concepts and it really was effective," Kathy says. "Now I have more of an understanding and perspective that kids learn so differently from each other and I really think that art bridges the gaps for a lot of other disciplines."
Kathy started working toward her degree in 1988, but due to various personal and financial challenges was unable to complete the degree at that time. Thanks in part to the Richard F. and Gladys B. Ball Art Education Scholarship, she now has the means and motivation to make her dreams a reality.
Nicole Schuler is also a 2018 recipient of the Richard F. and Gladys B. Ball Art Education Scholarship. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Art Education with a minor in Special Education and hopes to one day teach art in a rural school district where she can inspire creativity in young minds.
"I love the freedom art gives you for expression and I want to be able to share that with students," Nicole says.
Nicole's journey to this point hasn't been easy. As a working mother of 5 kids, she wasn't sure how she could return to school, earn a degree and achieve her dreams. But the Richard F. and Gladys B. Ball Art Education Scholarship has lifted a huge financial burden from her family's shoulders.