The University of South Alabama has received a gift of $250,000 from alumni Dr. and Mrs. Steven H. Stokes to start a new Center for Environmental Resiliency.
Through the Center, the University will promote scholarly achievement and foster knowledge to guide responsible policy-making and business development toward a prosperous and healthy future for all residents of the Gulf Coast region.
“We hope to establish a collaborative institute of scientists, environmentalists and industry leaders where technology and techniques can be developed that will mitigate the adverse affect of human activity on the Gulf,” Dr. Stokes said. “We hope the gift will serve as a catalyst to establish an institute that will allow us to prepare for future events that threaten the Gulf Coast.”
In the past, Dr. and Mrs. Stokes have given nearly $2.7 million to the University through gifts and matching funds, more than any other alumni couple. Dr. Stokes, who received his medical degree from USA in 1980, has served as a trustee since 1993. Angelia Stokes received her business degree from USA in 1979.
They have established the Angelia and Steven H. Stokes Center for Creative Writingand supported Moulton Tower, Alumni Plaza, the Mitchell Center Institute and the College of Medicine.
Dr. Stokes has served a term as chair pro tempore on USA’s Board of Trustees and was commended with the bestowal of the honorary title of Chair Pro TemporeEmeritus. The USA National Alumni Association recognized Dr. Stokes with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008.
In 2011, the University named a state-of-the-art student residence the Angelia and Steven H. Stokes Residence Hall in honor of their service.
USA’s Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Dr. Joseph Busta said, “Angelia and Steven Stokes have embraced public service as a lifetime responsibility and thus they have committed themselves to improving the human condition through programs such as those supporting the humanities to medical mission work. Their funding for the creation of the Center for Environmental Resiliency is yet another such commitment that will improve the quality of our lives while protecting the environment in which we live.”
Dr. and Mrs. Stokes
The son of a farmer, Dr. Stokes worked his way through college on a Navy ROTC scholarship. A land lover, he took the Marine Corps option of his service. After graduating with honors from U.S. Army Ranger School, Stokes led a platoon in Vietnam in the early 1970s.
His military service took him to Arlington National Cemetery, where he arranged funerals and coordinated accommodations for grieving families.
During this time, the marine biology/ocean chemistry major took pre-med courses. He also met his wife, Angelia, a Kentucky native who was working at Arlington. Six months later, they married and moved to Mobile.
While at the University of South Alabama, he launched into medical school and she pursued her business degree. As Hillsdale residents, the couple enjoyed their time as students. During Hurricane Frederick, Dr. Stokes took refuge in a campus building. His wife, a stockbroker, was in St. Louis on business.
His training took him to Washington University’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis. Later, he worked for a year as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and joined a private radiation oncology practice there. By 1987, he returned to Dothan to establish his practice. He also operates clinics in Enterprise, Ala., and Marianna, Fla. Each year, he leads a mission trip to Panama.
Mrs. Stokes, a former stockbroker, currently works to secure federal grant funding for a cancer screening program directed at senior citizens, especially those who live in rural areas of the state.
Dr. and Mrs. Stokes have three sons: Simon, Jonathan, and Steven.