Alumni Publications

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    Railroads in Muncie, Indiana
    (2009-05-01) Johnston, Michael L.
    Railroads in Muncie, Indiana explains the evolution of railroads in Muncie, and Delaware County, Indiana. Throughout the history of the United States, the railroad industry has been a prominent contributor to the development and growth of states and communities. Communities that did not have railroads did not develop as competitively until improvements in roads and highways gave them access to an alternative form of transportation. This manuscript provides a brief overview of the history and location of the railroads in Muncie and their importance to the growth of the community.
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    Muncie, Indiana: Hard Times and Good Times From 1925 Through 1950
    (2010-04) Bricker, Richard W.
    One frequently hears of the importance of obtaining oral histories from our elderly population before they are gone and their first hand knowledge of past events are lost forever. Each individual has a unique and varied past compared to his other contemporaries, so every history will be different at least in many aspects. This is a written history rather than an oral history, which usually has a specific subject objective and a relatively short time frame of coverage whereas this history will cover twenty-five years. One goal of technical writing that I was involved in at NASA was conciseness and leaving out all unnecessary details. That was not my objective in this history I once had a boss that frequently stated that a thing worth saying was worth writing down. A favorite quote of his was “criticism is our cheapest form of entertainment” and he very frequently entertained himself lavishly. The significance of writing things down is that it makes people think which some people don’t like to do. One can outline, organize, and revise repeatedly without having to work to a schedule. Hopefully that won’t lead to embellishment and in reality may reduce it. Many people do not have the education, experience, or patience to write their history down and perhaps it is more tedious than answering questions from a skilled interviewer. What should a history covering twenty-five years encompassing the second quarter of the last century consist of? I think many areas compared to today would be of interest such as advances in science, transportation, entertainment, health care, humor, social mores, family and neighbor interactions, educational techniques, and the list goes on. What is the difference between a personal history and an autobiography? Actually not much except the personal history should have some different goals and emphases. My objective in this history is to describe the character of Muncie in the period covered as experienced by myself and also other events of the time that are historical. By necessity it must include much autobiographical content to reach it’s nonautobiographical goals. If the goal of personal histories is to get everything that is significant then what should be omitted? What is chicken feed to one person may be gold and diamonds to another. An additional result of personal histories is that they show not only the major differences time makes but also how many things haven’t changed at all.
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    The History of Navajo Fraternity and Early History of Iota Alpha Chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity At Ball State University 1921-1964: The Teachers College Years
    (2011) Garretson, James D.; Hill, Jerry D.
    The history of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity chapter at Ball State University is rich and unique In one facet it mirrors the history of the college/university in Muncie, Indiana, and in another facet demonstrates the cyclical nature of social fraternity life on college campuses during the 20th Century. For predating its affiliation with Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity in 1951, this fraternity had a lengthy history as a local club/fraternity dating back to 1921. They were called the Navajos, the first social club on the young state campus. In examining the evolution of this local club into a chapter of one of the nation‘s largest and most respected fraternities, one needs to keep his/her examination in the context of the growth and evolution of Ball State University. Recently, Professors Anthony O. Edmonds and E. Bruce Geelhoed of the BSU History Department authored the first definitive history of Ball State (published by the Indiana University Press). This task began in 1993 when a sesquicentennial committee appointed by the president of Ball State was charged with planning the 75th anniversary of the state institution The committee made as one of its chief priorities the research and publication of such a history that charted the school‘s start through the auspices of Provost Warren Vander Hill, a member of the committee.