Donor Spotlight: Ward and Norma McCarty
Aug. 21, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Ward and Norma McCarty are two of the most passionate supporters of IU Athletics you'll find. Together, their support to Athletics dates back to 1951, before the Varsity Club existed. Sixty-three years later, they are still Varsity Club donors and season ticket holders for men's basketball and football. Ward and Norma make it to every game that weather allows. The Varsity Club recently sat down with the McCarty's to dig deeper into their love for IU Athletics and their long-standing tradition of giving to the Varsity Club.
Ward is originally from Rochester, IN and has been happily married to Norma for 62 years. They reside in Columbus, IN, where Norma has been a lifetime resident. Now retired, Ward and Norma spend quite a bit of their time enjoying the outdoors and cheering on the Hoosiers at home games. Their son, Michael, received his paralegal degree from IUPUI and one of their daughters, Tamara, received a dental assisting degree from IUPUI.
Q: When did your love for IU Athletics start?
Ward: My love for IU started back in 1936 when I went to see IU Football play Purdue in the 20-to-20 game. After that, I knew I wanted to go to Indiana University; I was all set and ready. Later down the road, I also did some recruiting for Branch McCracken. I was responsible for recruiting Jon McGlocklin, a three-year letter winner for Coach McCracken, and an inductee into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Norma: I never attended very many games before I met Ward, but my love for IU Athletics started when I married Ward. His passion for IU transferred to me.
Q: What inspired your giving to the IU Varsity Club?
Ward: In 1958, I went in with Bob Stebbins, my college fraternity brother and the first director of the Varsity Club, and gave five bucks. Back then, if you gave five bucks you were a big man. When I started my giving, the football stadium was where the IU Arboretum is now.
Q: Do you have a favorite coach or player from the last several decades?
Ward: Coach Bob Knight. We saw Knight coach from beginning to end. He was an outstanding coach and mentor to his players. I have the utmost respect for him.
Norma: Steve Alford. We are good friends with Sam Alford, Steve's dad. Ward and Sam used play golf frequently and have been longstanding friends, still staying in touch with one another. Ward even held Steven when he was just a baby!
Q: What do you admire most about our student-athletes?
Norma: I admire the will and drive of IU's student-athletes. They have to go to class just like the rest of the students that attend Indiana University, and I know it must be tough after long days of practice to get up early and go to class, but they do it. Student-athletes aren't just concerned with sports; it's about the education, too.
Ward: They make our university move on! We move on with the kids that get scholarships, get their degree, and go beyond. In other words, look at those who have played at IU, and look at where they are now. Some of the former players are doctors, dentists, lawyers, and CEO's. If these students would not have come to IU and gotten a scholarship, they might not be who they are today.
Q: Do you have a favorite piece of IU memorabilia that you have collected over the years?
Ward: I have a collection, amongst other things, of photos with Coach Bob Knight that I hold very dearly. I loved his coaching style and he was an all-around great guy. Norma and I watched him for years, including the three national championships he took the Hoosiers to.
IU Hoosiers are proud to have the support of loyal and dedicated donors like Ward and Norma McCarty. For more information on how you can support IU student-athletes, visit the Varsity Club Annual Giving page.
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