"To develop mentally, morally, or aesthetically especially by instruction" is how Webster's Dictionary defines educate. Everything has to be learned through this method, whether it be through formal education or not. To learn, one must be taught.
Many people's lives are touched by their mentors and all can say they have learned something of importance from them. Don and Ramona Dauphin have taken mentorship to the next level in hopes that their legacy will educate young minds and create a brighter future. They have decided to establish a scholarship, in education, in the honor of someone who taught them how to be solid, upstanding citizens. Orilla J. Stout was Ramona's mother, who to many was a friend, a teacher and someone whose best interests were in those she taught.
The Orilla J. Stout Scholarship will be reserved for those students attending the Northwestern-Woodward campus and who reside in Woodward County. Recipients must be incoming freshman with a high school grade point average of at least 3.0. First preference will be given to applicants seeking a degree in education.
Orilla was born in Enid to James and Mary Stoaks. She graduated from Mooreland High School in 1918 and received her teaching certificate from Northwestern Normal School. She taught in a country school located south of Freedom until she married Thomas P. Stout in 1920. Orilla and Thomas raised six children of their own but also took in and educated several others who needed their help.
"Northwestern was, and is still today, one of the best schools in the state of Oklahoma," Don said. "Ramona's parents left us their legacy, and we want to continue it through this scholarship."
"Orilla really loved the children she worked with and we are fortunate to be able to establish this in her namesake," Don said.
Having both grown up in northwest Oklahoma and having a good education is something the Dauphins hold in high regard. Their daughter is a teacher at Woodward High School and has taught for more than 24 years in the public school system. They know how hard work can pay off and that it takes excellent teachers to pave the way for young kids.
"We need good teachers," Ramona said. "This [scholarship] is a good way to help get those students the education they need to be successful."
The Dauphins have reared a family in which they are proud and are immersed in their grandchildren. In March, they went down to Louisiana where they watched their grandson play baseball. During a normal spring evening, they can be seen at Boomer Stadium watching a certain goalie sacrifice her body to protect a victory for the Lady Boomers soccer team. Family, religion and education are pillars to which they have built their family. Something learned from Orilla Stout.
"Education, church and family are strong foundations that can raise the types of citizens that give back to their communities," Don said. "Without them, this country will not survive."
"You cannot go wrong investing in education," Ramona said. "It is something that nobody can take away."
They hope that one day this scholarship will have helped at least one person earn a degree in education. If one person is willing to come back to Woodward and be successful in molding the minds of the future, then Don and Ramona know that they have done the right thing.
"We will have helped make a respectable teacher, citizen and person," Don said.
Dr. Deena Fisher, dean of the Northwestern-Woodward campus, has nothing but high accolades for the Dauphins and their support of higher education in Woodward.
"Don Dauphin is a fellow Rotarian and truly practices the philosophy of ‚ÄòService Above Self,'" Fisher said. "The fact that he and Ramona want to ensure that students in our area have scholarship opportunities exhibits the heart and spirit that these two wonderful people possess. I appreciate their commitment to Northwestern with their generous support."
"The entire Woodward community has been a driving force in establishing our new Woodward campus," said Dr. Janet Cunningham, Northwestern president. "Through generous supporters like the Dauphins, we will be able to support our many students that will be attending the new facility."
"I am happy that Northwestern was able to start a campus in Woodward, and Enid as well, and I think it has made Northwestern stronger and all of northwest Oklahoma stronger, too," Don said. "I really enjoyed my time at Northwestern."
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