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Bartons establish scholarship to benefit Northwestern non-traditional students

(ALVA, Okla. April 10, 2017) – John and Margaret Barton, along with their children, established the E.L. (Bud) and Sophia Barton Scholarship at Northwestern Bud and Sophia BartonOklahoma State University to honor John’s late parents’ passion for education at all levels and to support non-traditional college students.

Originally from Vian, Okla., Bud and Sophia Barton were married in 1932 and moved to Alva in 1959. They were raised in a time where education was not as valued as it is today. Due to economic circumstances and family obligations, Bud left school to work on the farm and Sophia was forced to drop out of school at a very young age. However, the couple instilled their love of learning in their three sons, Norman, Paul and John Barton.

“My parents didn’t have the opportunity to graduate from college but they saw the importance of it and stressed that to my brothers and me,” said John Barton, ’64, former Northwestern professor of almost 30 years.

As a result of their parents’ encouragement, all three sons graduated from college, obtained some post-graduate training and committed their lives to the teaching profession.

“The Barton family has created so many endowments for the benefit of Northwestern and our students,” said Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association CEO. “We are honored they chose to provide this scholarship that shares the story of where and how the Barton family's passion for higher education began.”

John said he and his wife, with support from their children Cheryl and Herb Listen, Paul and Melinda Barton, and Scott and Tamara Brown, chose to establish this scholarship because of Bud’s and Sophia’s emphasis and support of higher education.

“Bud and Sophia firmly believed that higher education helps individuals achieve the American Dream and offers critically important opportunities,” said John and Margaret. “This scholarship is provided to assist a non-traditional student with following his or her dreams.”

Full-time, non-traditional students with a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average are eligible for the E.L. (Bud) and Sophia Barton Scholarship. Preference will be given to applicants who graduated from high school at least six years prior to the year for which the scholarship is received. A student who completed a GED and meets the other requirements also may be considered. The scholarship may be applied toward university-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, room and board.

For more information on the E.L. (Bud) and Sophia Scholarship, or about investing in Northwestern students, call Bird at 580-327-8593 or email him at



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