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Austin Peay State University Biology Department receives $600,000 from Hageman Estate

 

Austin Peay State University (APSU)

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Dr. Ben Stone, Austin Peay State University emeritus professor, grew up the second youngest of seven children, so his interests in biology and education didn’t often make it into the family’s crowded, dinner table conversations.

“In 1953, there wasn’t much encouragement from my family to go to college,” he said.

The late John and Hilda Hageman believed in education and the mission of Austin Peay State University.

The late John and Hilda Hageman believed in education and the mission of Austin Peay State University.

Luckily, two people at those Sunday dinners – his sister, Hilda Stone Hageman, and her husband, John Andrew Hageman — saw Stone’s potential. Hilda practically raised the young Stone, and John, an Ivy League graduate (Cornell University’s Class of 1940), encouraged the boy to enroll at Vanderbilt University, and subsequently Austin Peay State College.

After earning his degrees at Austin Peay (’59) and a program in radiation biology at Cornell (’66), Stone went on to a distinguished, 42-year career as an APSU professor, chair of the Department of Biology and founding director of the Center of Excellence for Field Biology.

His love for the University’s biology programs nearly matched his love for John and Hilda, so he seemed pleased on a recent afternoon when he presented a $664,112 check from his sister’s estate to the Austin Peay Foundation.

That gift formally established the Hilda Stone Hageman and John Andrew Hageman Endowed Scholarships. Beginning in the fall of 2020, the biology department will award four Hageman scholarships annually, each worth $6,641.

The late Hilda Hageman was known as a "culinary artiste" by her younger brother.

The late Hilda Hageman was known as a “culinary artiste” by her younger brother.

“Thanks to the encouragement of Hilda and John Hageman, Dr. Ben Stone went on to make several lasting contributions to Austin Peay State University and its students,” APSU President Alisa White said. “Now, through this incredibly generous gift, their legacy of encouragement will allow generations of future students to fulfill the dream of earning a college education.”

The idea of the gift occurred in the early years of the 21st century, when Hilda was setting up her estate plans. Her little brother, recently retired, mentioned investing in his alma mater and institution of professional development.

“I had endowed a scholarship in my name when I retired, and I suggested she might want to use her funds in that way,” he said. “She’d be extremely pleased.”

Stone is also pleased because the scholarships will preserve the memory of his beloved sister, a woman he described as a generous “culinary artiste” who hosted many “elegant dinners” for friends, family and members of the Franklin Road Presbyterian Church. The scholarships will also honor his brother-in-law, who’s father was the designing engineer of Norris Dam — the first dam constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. John went on to become the principal founding partner of Geologic Associates.

But their legacy also thrives within Austin Peay’s College of STEM, where Stone developed programs in medical technology and the nuclear medicine technology, and he was instrumental in securing the funding and the design for the Sundquist Science Complex.

“The Stones and the Hagemans have given so much to this University, and this recent gift will ensure that we always remember their legacy,” Kris Phillips, assistant vice president of University Advancement, said. “These endowed scholarships, named in their honor, will remain part of Austin Peay for the life of this institution.”

For more information on this or other scholarships, contact the APSU Office of Advancement at www.apsu.edu/advancement


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