Topics: Alumni, Foundation, Giving, Scholarships, Teachers College

January 20, 2022

Bill and Evelyn Stokes

Financially challenged Ball State University students studying to become K-12 math and art teachers are eligible for new scholarships, thanks to the generosity of the late Bill and Evelyn Stokes.

Last Fall, the William and Evelyn Stokes Foundation reached an agreement with the Ball State University Foundation to give $1 million in scholarships over the next four years to an unspecified number of students who demonstrate financial need.

The agreement gives Ball State’s Teachers College the discretion to distribute scholarship funds to help students pay for tuition, books and technology expenses, course fees, and housing. Most of the funding—$800,000—will go toward math education students, while the remainder will support art education students.

“Bill was always very grateful for the education he received at Ball State,” said Jim Wehrly, president of the William and Evelyn Stokes Foundation. “It helped propel him into a very exciting and fulfilling career as a teacher of middle school mathematics and as a publisher of classroom materials. It would give Bill and Evelyn, who was an accomplished painter, great pleasure to assist under-resourced students preparing to teach mathematics or art to have the same opportunity.”

“We are extremely grateful to the William and Evelyn Stokes Foundation for its thoughtful generosity,” said Dr. Anand Marri, dean of Ball State’s Teachers College. “As a proud graduate, Bill Stokes used the education he received at Ball State University to transform communities near and far. That legacy will live on through these new scholarships, which will provide our students preparing to become math and art teachers an even more accessible and affordable education.”

Bill Stokes earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Education from Ball State Teachers College in the 1950s and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He taught middle school math in Los Angeles and Los Altos in California, and in Germany for Department of Defense Schools.

In 1972, Mr. and Mrs. Stokes established the Stokes Publishing Company, which published books and manufactured classroom teaching tools. In 1979, Mr. Stokes patented the unique Overhead Calculator, providing teachers the capability to project both the calculator display and the entire calculator keyboard for ease of instruction by using any standard overhead projector.

Mrs. Stokes passed away in 2002. Mr. Stokes passed away in 2019.

To see a complete list of all scholarships offered to students in the departments of Early Childhood, Youth and Family Studies; Educational Leadership; Educational Psychology; Educational Studies; Elementary Education; and Special Education, visit the Teachers College website. 

To learn how to fund your favorite Ball State programs, contact the Ball State Foundation or visit