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Grateful alumnus creates scholarship to inspire teachers

Darrel A. Sutter ’60, M.S. ’68, believes the teacher makes the difference in the classroom. His Illinois State professors were instrumental in helping him choose teaching as a career.

Sutter enrolled expecting a business-related career, but was drawn to education. He liked the idea of challenging himself to challenge others to learn.

“The role of a teacher is to open students’ minds to the incredible journey of learning, the joy of learning, the fun of learning, and the realization learning is important to the development of the whole person,” Sutter said. “Students will join in that journey of exploration and growth if provided with the challenge.”
Sutter was a Roanoke-Benson High School social science teacher and later a Lincoln College professor. He created an interpersonal dynamic where students hooked information, ideas, and facts; then grew and worked toward their individual goals. He benefited from their intellectual and educational bond.

During his 30-plus years teaching, many students blossomed into successful adults. “To this day I still hear from my former students,” he said. “I miss the excitement of watching students have those ‘wow’ moments as they come to the point of understanding concepts and answering questions.”

Establishing the Darrel A. Sutter Scholarship to help future teachers was one way he could continue to create such classroom moments. Recipients will be history-social sciences education majors within the Department of History.

“I owe the incredible journey I had as a teacher to ISNU/ISU and to the professors who guided me,” Sutter said. “I endowed this scholarship because I want to help another student accept the challenge and rewards of becoming a teacher. I loved teaching at the college level and hope some of them will do the same.”

The scholarship is need-based. Sutter worked his way through college and noted it was not easy to go to class prepared. There were many times when a little extra money was very helpful. The scholarship will help someone who needs it when they need it. Sutter also hopes to pass on the joy of what it means to become a teacher with his gift.

“Through the scholarship, I want to help a student who will enter the field of social science education and continue my legacy. Teaching is about giving of yourself so that others can take their own journey to gain wisdom. As a teacher, you help them to build castles within the context of their dreams. If you give enough, you get invited into their castles, knowing you have taught well. Then you learn the joy of what it means to be called ‘Teacher.’”

More than one life can be changed when you provide financial support that enables a student to complete an education and pursue professional dreams. Make a difference today by creating a scholarship, or contributing to the Sutter scholarship. Contact Executive Director of Development Joy Hutchcraft at (309) 438-8041 or by e-mail at jdhutch@ilstu.edu to find out what you can do. Donations can be made online at www.Advancement.ilstu.edu/support.

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