Zelma Ball Burruss Scholarship

It’s been more than 80 years since the Ball sisters walked the campus of the Oklahoma College for Women (now USAO). But their generosity to the university where they received their higher education make it possible for others to pursue their education today.

Zelma Ball was a sophomore in 1928, while her sister Thelma was a senior. Zelma was assistant art editor of the 1926 “Argus,” the college’s yearbook. She was a member of the Council Fire and the Q Club. The Q Club won the scholarship cup for being the social club making the highest scholastic average.

Zelma would later marry M.B. Burruss and Thelma would become the bride of J.O. Wood after a teaching career. Both made Chickasha their home where they were active members of the community.

Both would also later assist with many alumni projects at the university, including the Student Union elevator. Zelma’s gift of mineral rights helped fund many projects for the Alumni Association, but none of these projects bore the name of the woman who made it possible.

In recognition of those contributions, the USAO Alumni Association Board of Directors established the scholarship in her honor. The scholarship is open to USAO students and is based on need.

Zelma was a member of the Epworth United Methodist Church in Chickasha. She served on the administrative board of the church; a member of the Wedding Ring Class; a member of the United Methodist Women, and a member of the Susanna Wesley Circle.

She was a member of the McDowell Music Club for several years and held many offices throughout the years in the local and state organization including chairman of the Inspiration Point Committee and past president of the McDowell Music Club in Chickasha. She was a trustee of the State Board of Oklahoma Federation of Music Clubs. Zelma also was a member of the Salvation Army Board; Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club and a Rotary Ann.

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