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Harry J. Macy


Pioneering Contributions: Under the guidance of Harry J. Macy Ball State University became one of the early nationally accredited Baccalaureate Social Work programs (1974), a program he chaired for 27 years, with over 2500 graduates. Macy has been a leader in the development and advancement of institutional, educational and professional standards for the field of social work, with a particular focus on undergraduate education. Recognizing the importance of reaching individuals in all areas of the educational system, he was a strong advocate for creating pathways whereby community college Human Services students could transfer into four-year BSW degree programs. In Macy's decade long service with CSWE he strove to develop rigorous standards for accreditation and advocated for the enrichment of curriculum. Macy was a leading figure with the Baccalaureate Program Directors (BPD), a national organization committed to raising the status and quality associated with a BSW education. 

Career Highlights: After graduating from college in 1962, Macy put his degree in education to good use in Tabora, Tanzania where he was a teacher alongside his wife Delpha in the Peace Corps, serving as one of the program's first volunteers. He completed his MSW in 1967 and worked with at-risk families before beginning his lengthy career in academia. Professional education has always been the cohesive thread connecting his many pursuits. He was instrumental in the movement to integrate technological advances into training programs for new social workers, and authored several books on bachelor-level practice and academic programming administration. In addition to his 27 years at Ball State as the Social Work Department Chair, educator, and mentor, Macy invested his energy in strengthening the ties between the educational, professional, and community sector, thus broadening the network of social workers in order to make the field more congruous and effective. Ever active in the world of social welfare, Macy served as a board member with several community agencies, including a residential treatment facility for at-risk teenage girls.  He also was outspoken for the need to provide support services for combat-weathered Vietnam Veterans and for youth about to age out of the foster care system.  During his many years of service, Dr. Macy has proven to be an attentive custodian to the quality of child welfare training standards. Through his career he has demonstrated the importance of inspiring the social workers of tomorrow by opening many different educational and professional gateways.

Biography: Harry Macy learned to make the best of adversity from an early age.  Afflicted with polio and brought up in a family of humble means, a university education would have been out of reach had it not been for Macy’s determination to impact the world in a positive manner. Macy used the financial support from his Vocational Rehabilitation assistance to help fund his undergraduate degree at Ball State University (1962). He earned the MSW at Indiana University (1967), an additional Master's degree in Public Affairs at the University of Iowa (1977), and an Ed.D. in Adult and Community Education at Ball State University (1990).  The latter degree he achieved while balancing the responsibilities of his roles as an educator and leader, and, throughout the completion process, Macy incorporated many principles of social work into his doctoral studies.  Over his long and energetic career, despite gaining recognition on the local, state, and national level, Harry Macy has been known as a humble man.  His visionary force within the field of social work speaks for Macy’s lifelong commitment to lifelong learning, positive change, and the role of the educational system within the world of public service.


Significant Achievements/Awards: The state of Indiana named Macy as a regional Social Worker of the Year.  He was also recognized for his life-time membership with the BPD, and his exemplary work and vision earned him the status of Professor Emeritus upon retirement from Ball State University. Dr. Macy has had a hand in many organizations and causes, but his legacy will always be tied to his Alma Mater, Ball State, where a social work scholarship has been established under his and his wife’s name. 


Notable Publications:

Macy, Harry J., Rebecca Turner, and Scott Wilson. Directing the Baccalaureate Social Work

Education Program. Dubuque, Ia.: Eddie Bowers Pub., 2000. Print.

Macy, Harry J. Directing the Baccalaureate Social Work Program: An Ecological Perspective.

Jefferson City, MO: Association of Social Work Program Directors (BPD), 1995. Print.




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