Retired Math Professor Honored with Scholarship

Posted on 2/9/2012 3:36:21 PM
From left: Eleanor Stilwell, Merle Stilwell, Bob Strouse, and Susan Strouse

A 1970 IUP graduate has established a scholarship in honor of a retired Mathematics professor.

Bob Strouse, of DuBois, has made a pledge to establish the Merle Stilwell Scholarship for Mathematics. The charitable foundation associated with Strouse’s employer, Illinois Tool Works, will match his gift.

The scholarship will be awarded to Mathematics or Mathematics Education majors. Preference will be given to those who demonstrate involvement in community service and well-roundedness.

Stilwell, a longtime faculty member, was granted emeritus status in 1991. He lives in Indiana.

“Merle went out of his way to help me,” said Strouse, a member of the IUP football squad that played in the 1968 Boardwalk Bowl. “No matter who you were, he took care of all the students. He really was the professor in the Math Department students could go to for help. I went from a very immature kid entering IUP to a very focused adult who launched a successful career.”

Strouse came up with the idea of a scholarship after being contacted by the University Relations staff.

“I thought about it, and my employer would match $3 for every $1 I donated,” he said. “I thought, if I’m going to help IUP, why not do it this way? We can fund a scholarship to honor Merle. Merle helped students, and a scholarship is a great way to help students.”

Strouse invites fellow alumni who were inspired by Stilwell to contribute to the Stilwell scholarship fund.

Upon his graduation, Strouse became a mathematics teacher and then entered private industry. After retiring from Illinois Tool Works and settling in DuBois, he began helping students at DuBois Business College. He also is among a group of Boardwalk Bowl alumni leading the charge to develop a scholarship that supports IUP’s football team members.

In the photo, from left: Eleanor Stilwell, Merle Stilwell, Bob Strouse, and Susan Strouse