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Stephen W. Stookey

Born on a farm near Marion, Stephen W. Stookey graduated from Marion High School and attended Cornell College for two years, alternating studies with teaching in rural schools.

He was all set to transfer to the University of Iowa for his last two years of school, But the SUnday before he left for Iowa City, he attended church where he heard a sermon by Dr. Stephen Phelps, president of Coe College.

Stephen Stookey was so impressed with President Phelps that he transferred to Coe to finish his degree and teach in the Coe Preparatory School. In those days, graduates made their own commencement addresses. So, in 1884 when Stookey received his bachelor of science degree and again in 1887 when he received his master's degree from Coe, Stookey and the other member of his class, Miss E. Belle Stewart, were the only speakers.

 In 36 years at Coe, Stephen Stookey served as head of the Coe Academy, financial secretary, dean of the college, and acting president. In addition, he helped organize the department of education. The versatile professor was also called upon to teach Latin, German, biological science, botany and geology. He retired from active teaching in 1933 as professor emeritus of geology.

Dr. Stookey's contributions to the college are numerous. It was under his direction in 1899 that one of the first college campaigns for endowment was successfully completed with the raising of 35 thousand dollars. Stookey also drafted the original application to Andrew Carnegie for money to build the science hall.

He is also credited with an important role in the hiring of three of the colleges most prominent faculty members... George W. Bryant, Charles T. Hickok and Bert Herald Bailey, and in enlisting the support of Mrs. Elizabeth Voorhees in building the women's residence hall.

In 36 years of active service, Dr. Stephen W. Stookey and three succeeding generations of his family have played a major part in shaping the growth and future of Coe College.

See also Interim President Stephen W. Stookey

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