Topics: Alumni, Scholarships, College of Fine Arts

June 8, 2007

For 42 years, Frances Clapp was known as a dedicated teacher, as well as an active community volunteer and neighbor.

Now, she will touch a new generation of students — this time at her alma mater, Ball State, which received a $71,600 estate gift to create a scholarship fund bearing her name.

Clapp was born in New Castle in 1909 and graduated from New Castle High School in 1928 and from Ball State Teachers College in 1932.

Miss Eilar, as she was known for most of her life, began her teaching career in LaFontaine, Ind., and later taught at North Webster, Arcadia, Atlanta, Cicero, Union City and Lewisville schools. She later served at New Castle High School from 1949 to 1974 as director of the home economics department. During this time, she had 52 student teachers.

Additionally while at New Castle High School, she taught adult education evening classes in interior decorating, clothing, foods and Red Cross first aid training.

One year after her retirement, at age 65, she married her college sweetheart, Herbert Clapp of Anderson.

In addition to teaching for 42 years, Clapp was active in her community. She helped organize the first school cafeteria in Henry County and a Henry County chapter of the AARP, of which she was a charter member. She was a 4-H leader for 20 years and a 4-H camp director for another 18 years.

Clapp also volunteered with Meals on Wheels for nine years, and she provided a home for several welfare children with the support of her mother.

The estate gift will create the Clara Frances Clapp Fund to provide scholarships to Ball State students enrolled in the School of Art.

Availability of this scholarship fund is dependent upon an award selection process established by Ball State and its academic departments. For specifics about this scholarship, contact the School of Art at (765) 285-5838.

For more information about other scholarships available at Ball State, contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at (765) 285-5600 or visit