Ralph Whitinger scrapbook
Scope and Contents
This collection includes a scrapbook compiled by Ralph Whitinger featuring news clippings describing the local efforts of the Delaware County United War and Community Fund campaign in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Ralph Whitinger served as the chairman of the campaign where his respected standing with the local business community and strong background in finance to boost the campaigns donation efforts.
- Creation: 1945
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Biographical Note / Historical Note / Administrative History
"A man who learned to live with a physical handicap and achieve remarkable success in the field of business--that was Ralph J. Whitinger. Those who knew him since he was a student at Muncie High School recall the years when he rode in a small four-wheel wagon and attended classes as if her were completely sound physically. They remember, too, that he graduated to a wheelchair or crutches, went on to Ball State University and received a degree."
Ralph J. Whitinger, 73, head of the accounting firm that bears his name and widely-acquainted Muncie civic leader and philanthropist, died Tuesday afternoon in his home after a year's illness.
The Muncie native was the son of Frank and Emma Young Whitinger. He graduated in 1925 from Muncie High School.
A major benefactor of Ball State University, from which he graduated in 1929 when it was Ball State Teachers College, he was founder of the Ball State Foundation in 1951, serving as a director since then and as foundation president since 1952.
In August 1968, Ball State conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree on Mr. Whitinger, and in 1978, the university honored him by naming its new College of Business building the Ralph J. Whitinger Business Building. The Whitinger Scholars program for gifted students at BSU was named in his honor.
A certified public accountant, he founded R.J. Whitinger and Company Jan. 1, 1930. Under his guidance as senior partner, the accounting firm grew to be one of the largest and most respected in Indiana. It has offices in Muncie and Anderson. He served as president of the Indiana Association of Certified Public Accountants and as member of the council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He was a member of the American Accounting Association. He was a former president of the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and in the mid-1960s served as the first president of the Muncie-Delaware County United Way.
In the early 1960s, he served as chairman of the college-community campaign that raised funds for the construction of the John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium on the BSU campus. The auditorium opened in 1963. He was a charter member of the Ball State College of Business Hall of Fame, and he was awarded a distinguished service award by the Ball State University Alumni Association.
In 1980, the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce honored Mr. Whitinger at its annual membership dinner. Before an audience of serveral hundred in the Masonic Temple Ballroom, three long-time business associates and personal friends--Hamer D. Shafer, Harry H. Maxon, Jr., and John B. Beasely--took the podium to cite his contributions in community leadership and service.
In 1981, the Muncie YMCA presented him a national YMCA service to youth award. He served as a member of the YMCA board of trustees and was treasurer of the organization during construction of the new YMCA at Mulberry and Howard streets in teh early 1970s.
In October 1981, he received a special Beneficence award from Ball State at its annual President's Club dinner honoring contributors to the university. He began his service to Ball State in 1940, when he was treasurer of the Alumni Association.
During his leadership of the BSU Foundation over three decades, its assets grew from a modest start to nearly $10 million. His business affiliations included Muncie Power Products Inc., of which he was vice president; his was vice president of Stuby Gudgel Tire Co., and he was on the boards of directors of Maxon Corp. and N.G. Gilbert Corp. He was named a director emeritus of Merchants National Bank in 1981 after serving as a director since 1957. He had been president and a director of Muncie Malleable Foundry Corp., predecessor to Dayton-Walther Foundry here; president of Sudlow Foods Inc., now part of Standard Brands Inc.; chairman of the board of Indiana Bridge Company and Benton Harbor (Mich.) Malleable Industries, and a director of the Albion (Mich.) Malleable Iron Co., now Hayes-Albion Corp., operators of a foundry here at the former Muncie Malleable site in teh 1960s.
He was the guiding force behind and president and director of, the Muncie Industrial Investment Co., formed in 1962 to acquire the Durham Manufacturing Co. property as an incentive for the firm to remain in Muncie. He was a director of the Margaret Ball Petty Foundation and the N.G. Gilbert Foundation.
His memberships included Muncie Rotary Club, Delaware Country Club, The Muncie Club, The Columbia Club in Indianapolis, the Newcomen Society, Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and First United Presbyterian Church. He was an honorary Jaycee and had been a Jaycee boss of the year. He was a Sagamore of the Wabash and a Kentucky Colonel. Locally, he received the Silver Beaver award in 1947 for service to the Boy Scouts of America, and was he was honored in 1970 by the Muncie Boys' Club with its Horatio Alger Award.
He was given a civic achievement award by the Indiana Association of Certified Public Accountants in 1979. The first issue of the Ball State Honor College scholarly and creative publication, Odyssey, was dedicated to Mr. Whitinger earlier this month.
As a Ball State undergraduate, he had been business manager of the college yearbook, the Orient, and of the weekly Easterner newspaper, forerunner of the Ball State Daily News. Family links: Parents: James F Whitinger (1869 - 1916) Emma Young Whitinger (1875 - 1965) Spouse: Geraldine E Geis Whitinger (1912 - 2002)* Siblings: Fern Whitinger Dick (1898 - 1991)* Paul E Whitinger (1901 - 1917)* Chella Whitinger Rinker (1906 - 1997)* Ralph J Whitinger (1908 - 1982) *Calculated relationship Burial: Elm Ridge Memorial Park Muncie Delaware County Indiana, USA Created by: Jane Record added: Jun 01, 2011 Find A Grave Memorial# 70690441
0.6 Cubic Feet (1 Box)
The scrapbook is very old and suffers from acidic corrosion and has lost its binding. The glue holding many clippings in place has dried out and many pieces are loose. Please handle with great care.
- Ralph Whitinger scrapbook
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Part of the Ball State University Archives Repository
Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA