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How Ida’s memory lives

The siblings of Ida Ballard Simon request your support with our mission to maintain Ida’s love for and influence in academia, and her love to reach students needing scholarships and financial assistance to attend college.

With support from Lincoln University Alumni, life-long friends and colleagues of Ida Ballard Simon, and Memphians (businesses and individuals), this fundraiser event provides student (s) from Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee with an opportunity to obtain a obtain a 4-year Scholarship to Lincoln University a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in Jefferson City, Missouri – Ida’s college alma mater, Book / Travel Scholarships as well as Perseverance Scholarships  to cover educational expenses to qualifying colleges, universities or trade schools.


Ida’s Profile


Ida was a 1967 Graduate of George Washington Carver High School in Memphis, Tennessee.   In addition to performing as the Drum Majorette of the Marching Cobra Band she had the honor of being crowned, “Miss Carver”.

In 1971, Ida graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education.  Duplicating her high school accomplishments, Ida was again chosen as the campus queen, “Miss Lincoln University” and Head Drum Majorette. While at Lincoln University, she was also elected Miss Sophomore and Miss Finer Womanhood by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

Ida continued to excel scholastically.  She obtained funding to attend graduate school and received a Masters of Education Degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana in 1972.  In 1987, Ida obtained a Masters of Divinity Degree at Union Theological Seminary of New York.


Professional Accomplishments

Ida was a trendsetter in her professional endeavors as well!

Upon completing her graduate work in elementary education in 1972, Ida worked briefly for the Albert P. Brewer Center for mentally challenged children in Mobile, Alabama and the Memphis City School System. Shortly thereafter, Ida found her professional niche in the field of Sales/Marketing with IBM in Memphis, Tennessee.

Ida loved to travel and wanted to experience life outside of Memphis.  She trusted God and decided to move to New York City as a Sales Representative with Exxon and later XEROX and ITT.  Her vibrant personality and charisma, coupled with her salesmanship and showmanship, brought her many top sales awards.

Ida’s charm and classy style soon took her to another level in the sales/marketing arena. As the first Marketing Director for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), she raised funds for small, private, Black colleges.  Ida implemented and contributed to many innovative and exciting events such as The Michael Jordan Golf Classic and the well-known annual Lou Rawls UNCF Telethon.

Between 1995-2000, Ida was the chief fundraiser for several colleges.  She served as: Vice President for Development at St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Community Relations of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She successfully orchestrated multi-million dollar fundraising programs at each institution.

In 2001, Ida broadened her sphere of influence in academia to reach more students needing scholarships and financial assistance to attend college.  She was appointed Vice President & Chief Development Officer of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Incorporated, an organization that provides funds for students attending large, public, Historical Black Colleges and Universities.

In 2003, Ida was blessed to achieve her heart’s desire by sharing her fundraising expertise with her alma mater, Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Enjoying this full circle experience, she held the position of Vice President of University Advancement & Executive Director of the Lincoln University Foundation until her death.

The results of Ida’s presence and short-term impact involved elevating Alumni participation in events, activities and giving which displayed significant improvement in the areas of fundraising, membership recruitment and development.  During Ida’s tenure, Lincoln Foundation Fund increased:  Ida initiated the Annual Lincoln University Foundation Board Gala in Jefferson City, Mo which is generally held in March of each year.  During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003, cash donations from ALUMNI increased from $154, 976.56 in 2002 to $225,654.02 (45.6%); multiple gifts during one year by individual and chapter members increased by 74%; and Alumni Chapter gifts rose from $25,986.71 in 2002 to $61, 040.00 in 2003, a 13.5% increase.

In January of 2004, Ida was diagnosed with colon cancer and passed in May.

In 2005, Ida was posthumously inducted to the Lincoln University–Hall of Fame.


Also, the following documents can be referenced to view a few of her accomplishments:

1. Service or significant achievement in her field of endeavor;

2. Professional, civic, cultural, military or other organizations (either membership or ones that have recognized the candidate’s achievements);

Professional Memberships: