The Florence M. Strickler Endowment
Florence Strickler was born Florence Gertrude MacLeod in Winnipeg, Canada on December 2, 1913. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Manitoba in 1934 and her Masters in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1936. As a graduate student at Northwestern University, she met her fumre husband, Woodrow Strickler.
In 1938, Woodie Strickler came to Louisville as an economics instructor; he and Florence married December 21, 1938. They set up house in an apartment on Second Street in Old Louisville. Mrs. Strickler's interests were many. An expert seamstress, Mrs. Strickler started a tie quilt (made from men's ties) to keep herself busy while she adjusted to a new life and home in Louisville. Before long, she joined the UofL Women's Club and taught quilting and embroidery to many a member of the Women's Club. She also inaugurated the Newcomer's Coffee groups. In 1941, she was a World War II volunteer and sewed "Bundles for Blue Jackets" to benefit the boys in the Navy.
From 1947 to 1951, she worked for the dean of Arts and Sciences as a student advisor, a job she dearly cherished because she found students so invigorating. In 1954, she was elected President of the UofL Women's Club. She was also active in the Women's Club of Louisville and served on its Board. Her love of academe was heightened as a member of the UofL Library Associates. She was an avid animal lover, active in the arts, and enjoyed collecting old postcards. She served her community by volunteering in nursing homes, involving herself in church activities, working as a clerical aid for the American Red Cross, serving as a Board Member of the Kentucky Chapter of Recording for the Blind, being a member of Goodwill Industries Auxiliary, and serving as Province President of Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. It is no wonder that she was a recipient of the Mayor's Distinguished Citizenship Award.
Dr. Strickler served two decades as vice president and executive vice president before being appointed President in 1968; he served in that capacity until 1972. During his tenure as President, UofL became a state university, obtained Shelby Campus from Kentucky Southern College, the medical school was moved to the health sciences center, and the Caldwell Tank Foundry on Belknap Campus was acquired. The foundry became the center for student activities and designated as the Red Barn. Her interest in students never waning, Mrs. Strickler became a fixture at the Red Barn and was ultimately and affectionately dubbed by the Red Barn Alumni Association as "The First Lady of the Red Barn."
In 1992, the Red Barn Alumni Association set up a scholarship fund in her honor, and in 1999, one of three new stained glass windows in the Red Barn (designed by Ken VonRoenn) was dedicated to her and Dr. Strickler. In 1996, Strickler Hall was renamed the Woodrow M. and Florence Strickler Hall in recognition of her contributions to the University.
Upon her death in December 2002, Mrs. Strickler bequeathed $800,000 to the University: $750,000 to create the Woodrow M. Strickler Endowed Chair in the College of Business and Public Administration and $50,000 to the Florence M. Strickler Student Scholarship Fund
The Florence M. Strickler Student Scholarship Endowment awards 4 $1,700 tuition scholarships each year as well as various awards focused on Adult and Commuter students.
Since 1992 the Florence M. Strickler Endowment has awarded 220 scholarships totaling $59,870.