LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2016) — A couple with a long history of service to the greater Lexington community and to the University of Kentucky will receive honorary doctorates of humane letters at December 2016’s UK Commencement ceremony.
Nominated by the University Joint Committee on Honorary Degrees and approved by the University Senate, Donald R. Ball and Mira S. Ball are the honorees approved by the UK Board of Trustees today. An honorary doctorate of humane letters recognizes extraordinary contributions to philanthropy, human development, education, or societal well-being.
This husband and wife team cofounded Ball Homes, LLC in 1959, developing their business into one of the top 100 builders of single-family homes in the nation. Don Ball was an organizer and later board chair of the Hope Center, where he helped develop programs and services addressing the underlying causes of homelessness. He also served as co-chair of the Recovery Kentucky Task Force, a program that helps Kentuckians recover from chronic substance abuse. Don Ball has been honored many times on the national, state and local levels, including the Hearthstone Builder Humanitarian Award for making his community a better place to work and live; the Sullivan Medallion from UK; and co-recipient with Mira of both the Happy Chandler Kentuckian Award and the William T. Young Lifetime Achievement Award.
A proud UK graduate, Mira Ball taught in the Fayette County Public Schools before cofounding Ball Homes and serving as chief financial officer and secretary-treasurer of the company. Her love for education has never wavered as she became the first woman to chair the UK Board of Trustees, as well as being the first woman chair of the Midway University Board of Trustees. Along with her husband, Mira Ball has generously given her time, talent and treasure in support of Kentucky Educational Television. She is a past chair and board member of the Children’s Advocacy Center and has also carried out leadership responsibilities for Commerce Lexington, Inc., the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of the Bluegrass, the Kentucky Historical Society, the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and the Kentucky Horse Park, to name just a few.
The University of Kentucky December Commencement ceremonies will take place Friday, Dec. 16.