One Statement Inspires a Lifetime of Giving
Over the past several decades, Dr. Joe Rinard and his late wife, Alice, '54 MA '63, have been great friends to Ball State University. It all began with one memorable statement from one of Joe's professors.
Dr. Robert H. Cooper, then a professor of biology and the Cooper Science
Building namesake, stopped Joe after class one afternoon. He said, "Joe,
you know, this University is supported
by a lot more than what you pay in tuition. This institution is supported by the state and people giving money."
That statement from Cooper had the intended effect: it has been Joe's goal to be a philanthropic partner to support many generations of Cardinals. He and Alice supported the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology throughout the years. Still, Joe's true passion lies with the Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse, located on the southwest side of campus. In addition to contributing to the greenhouse's original construction, his recent gifts, which include an outright gift of real estate, will help fund an expansion to the greenhouse in Spring 2021.
"Because I lived so far away from it, I chose to liquidate a 40-acre farm that had been in the family since 1933," Rinard said. Once Joe confirmed that members of his own family understood his intention, the family property became instrumental to the proposed renovations. The expanded greenhouse will positively impact not only Ball State students, faculty, and staff, but also the surrounding community.
Joe's passion for agriculture and the creation of the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse stems from his childhood and family heritage. He learned about planting, harvesting, weeding, and providing food for the table by growing various plants. This worthwhile concept for Joe, in addition to his desire to honor Alice's memory, is why he chose to pursue helping fund the greenhouse's construction.
All of Joe and Alice's philanthropic contributions are rooted in education and creating more opportunities for students. They have given both their time and treasure to their beloved institutionsIndiana and Ball Stateas well as their high schools. "Ball State provided a place for me to excel academically and gain the knowledge I needed to ultimately be accepted to the Indiana University School of Dentistry," Rinard said.
To Joe, any contribution to Ball State is a valuable investment. "The
greenhouse allows me to look beyond myself," Rinard said. "I'm doing
something worthwhile beyond my own situation,
and it's something that other people can also be part of."
Acquisition, maintenance, public programming, and care of the more than 2,000 orchids in the collection are the responsibility of Cheryl LeBlanc, curator of the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse. In Joe's words, "Cheryl is an outstanding human being, and she has the great ability to do this, that, and the other. Ball State and the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse are fortunate to have passionate people like her."
The Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse is open for public visitation six days a week. They hold weekly and special holiday programs in addition to a plant sale in the spring. For those far away, photos of the expansive orchid collection can be found on their website, bsu.edu/greenhouses; on Facebook at Rinard Orchid Greenhouse; or on Instagram @bsurogh.
To fund your favorite Ball State programs, contact or visit us at ballstatelegacy.org.