Champion of the Month

William "Bill" Munn Share

Sep 3, 2020  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

William Bill” Munn is known as the expert of every­thing his­tor­i­cal in Mar­i­on and Grant Coun­ty. He is revered by many who absorbed his­to­ry lessons from him dur­ing his 42 years with Mar­i­on Com­mu­ni­ty Schools. Munn, for a decade now, has been entrust­ed as the offi­cial Grant Coun­ty His­to­ri­an through the local and state his­tor­i­cal societies.

Bill Munn was born in Gar­rett, Indi­ana, raised in Ango­la, and grad­u­at­ed from Ango­la High School. He grad­u­at­ed from Ball State Uni­ver­si­ty in 1969 (where he lat­er earned a Master’s), then accept­ed a long-lived teach­ing career at Mar­i­on Com­mu­ni­ty Schools. Now retired, Munn still teach­es col­lege stu­dents, but in his free time, he is nev­er bored. Munn is a char­ter mem­ber and cur­rent pres­i­dent of Save Our Sto­ries (SOS), which advo­cates for preser­va­tion of mul­ti­ple his­toric build­ings down­town, Mar­i­on through part­ner­ing with Indi­ana Land­marks and local groups. I real­ly believe in Mar­i­on. The peo­ple who built Mar­i­on were risk tak­ers. I encour­age peo­ple to recom­mit to what our founders did to pre­serve com­mer­cial devel­op­ment,” expressed Munn.

He is active with Geth­se­mane Epis­co­pal Church through their Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Pro­gram tak­ing com­mu­ni­ty con­cerns and hold­ing sem­i­nars. He is also involved with the Equal Jus­tice Insti­tute and relat­ed study groups.

May­or Jess Alum­baugh explained that all of the vol­un­tary work Munn has done to pre­serve his­to­ry has unques­tion­ably earned him recog­ni­tion as Cham­pi­on of the Month. His love and pas­sion for our com­mu­ni­ty is per­son­i­fied by his tire­less pur­suit to edu­cate cit­i­zens on the his­to­ry of our great city. He reveals to us the suc­cess­es and fail­ures we have shared here in our hometown.”

Fel­low his­to­ri­an, Alan Miller, illus­trat­ed Munn as one of the bright­est jew­els in the com­mu­ni­ty’s cul­tur­al crown. His true lega­cy, how­ev­er, is the life­long love of learn­ing and his­to­ry that he instilled in sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions of Mar­i­on High School stu­dents — espe­cial­ly those who accept­ed the chal­lenge of enrolling in his leg­endary Advanced Place­ment class­es. Applause also goes to the woman behind the man, Bil­l’s wife, Sue, for her com­mit­ment to sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions of our com­mu­ni­ty’s most intel­lec­tu­al­ly and devel­op­men­tal­ly chal­lenged students.”

Retired jour­nal­ist, Ed Breen, depict­ed Munn as a blend of his­to­ri­an and preser­va­tion­ist. Bill under­stands the mean­ing of the past, and is aware of the need to apply its lessons to the present. He works to under­stand what hap­pened, then labors to pre­serve the evi­dence of where it happened.”

Mar­i­on Pub­lic Library Direc­tor, Mary Eck­er­le, said Munn is well known in the com­mu­ni­ty. He taught many of our chil­dren and instilled in them a love and respect for his­to­ry — be it nation­al, state or local. As Grant Coun­ty His­to­ri­an, he can tell sto­ries about peo­ple who made our com­mu­ni­ty what it is today and events that made a dif­fer­ence. Through his involve­ment in SOS, he inspires oth­ers to pre­serve the past in our build­ings and residences.”

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