The Stone Family's Legacy at Ball State
More than a few members of the Stone family have flocked to Ball State. Keith A. Stone, '83, and his wife, Kristine (Maternowski) Stone, '82, met at Ball State, and formed many of their dearest friendships in Woody/Shales residence halls. Five of their six children are Cardinals-and "gainfully employed," Keith adds with enthusiasm. His brother and sister are also Ball State grads.
Keith and Kristine participate in campus events, serve on committees, and started giving back just a few years after graduation. Recently, the Stone family secured their legacy at Ball State through a planned gift.
The couple is young by planned giving standards, but the 50-somethings decided it's never too early to incorporate their passions into their estate plan. They made a provision in their will that will eventually fund a Ball State scholarship in the Stone family name.
"As my career progressed, I found myself reflecting on all that has happened in my life because of the doors my Ball State degree opened," says Keith, a CPA who recently retired as chief financial officer for YWCA North Central Indiana in South Bend. "I owe a lot to Ball State, and I have tried to pass those beliefs on to my children. They know we have included Ball State in our will, and they are supportive."
Kristine, a part-time teacher's aide at Christ the King School, adds: "I'm grateful to Ball State for great memories with lifelong friends and, of course, meeting Keith, who has always said his career would not have been possible without his Ball State education. We wanted to give back in appreciation for all the university has meant to us and our family."
To others considering a future gift to Ball State, Keith reiterates the importance of private donor support for the university's growth and impact, which benefits everyone associated with the university.
"Our support is critical to Ball State's success," says Keith, a member of the President's Circle, Leaders & Loyals, and Beneficence giving societies. "It's important for all of us to be humble enough to realize how much the university influenced and continues to influence our lives, and then remember to pay it forward for the next generation."
Keith says he hopes he and Kristine will be remembered as loyal supporters of the university who fully celebrated Ball State's influence on their personal lives and professional success. It's exciting, he adds, to think they can benefit their beloved alma mater and the lives of deserving students long after they are gone.
Keith's Ball State experience was so transformative, he had a difficult time "holding his tongue" when his oldest daughter, Andrea (Stone) Connors, '09, was looking at colleges. He admittedly didn't do the best job of staying objective, but it turns out, she didn't need much persuading. After one campus visit, Andrea, too, fell in love with campus. Four of her siblings followed suit:Samantha (Stone) Keultjes, '14; Kathryn Stone, '11; Benjamin Stone, '13; and Jacob Stone, '16. Keith says he loved the excuse to return to campus.
"The campus is so beautiful now," Keith says. "I really like coming back to visit. The improvements to the campus are just awesome, and it's been fun to see how the university has grown and matured over the years. It is a topflight university, especially to the Stone family."
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