College of Architecture and Planning

Alumnus and his wife give back by establishing architecture student scholarship in honor of parents

When Paul Strohm (BArch ’80) reflects on his time spent in the Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning (CAP), his words sound much like the testaments of current students in the program: great teachers and a curriculum that fosters creativity, critical thought, and collaboration.

Now Paul is a Senior Vice President and Director at HOK, member of HOK’s board of directors, and the health care practical leader for the company. HOK is a global planning and design firm that is internationally recognized for award-winning design and expertise in fields including health care, museums, and airports.

“The architecture program at CAP was a great first step in my maturation to becoming an architect,” said Paul. “I learned to work unbelievably hard on the quest for what I thought was the best and right answer.”

Paul’s wife Leslie is a graduate of DePauw University and the University of Michigan School of Law. She serves as the vice chancellor and general counsel of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Like Paul, she passionately supports the arts, architecture and design.

Because of the impact Ball State had on Paul, the Strohms donated $25,000 as well as a planned gift of life insurance in December 2010 to establish a freshman merit scholarship for architecture students in honor of Paul’s parents, Carl and Marjorie Strohm.

Ball State alumnus Carl Strohm earned his bachelor’s degree in 1948 and Master’s in 1953. He worked as an artist, industrial arts teacher and public school administrator. Marjorie worked as a nurse. The scholarship recognizes the inspiration they provided Paul in becoming an architect and specializing in healthcare.

“From my mother, as a nurse, I inherited an ability to visualize and think in three dimensions and to approach challenges with a positive prospective,” Paul said. “From my father, an educator, I inherited an ability to draw and think creatively. Both of my parents instilled in me drive, a passion for excellence and an unwavering belief in doing something in life to help others—all grounded in Christian values.”

The Carl and Marjorie Strohm Scholarship will provide assistance to incoming freshmen or transfer students in the Department of Architecture based on merit. The scholarship is renewable for three years provided the student continues to meet specified criteria.

“We believe in the importance of education and the role and mission of the CAP,” Paul said. “It is a great program and should be celebrated. Our hope is that by establishing a scholarship, in a small way, students can be encouraged and assisted in their journey to becoming an architect.”

To learn more about establishing a gift or gift planning, please contact:

D. Mark Helmus

Senior Vice President for Development

Ball State Foundation

2800 West Bethel Ave.

Muncie, IN. 47304