The Helen Seeley–Ada Seeley Barton Scholarship is in memory of these two ladies, who were sisters. Their relationship with Illinois State University is somewhat unique in that they each had rooming houses for female students for a period of time approximating forty years. Miss Seeley’s house was at 217 North School Street in Normal, Illinois, and Mrs. Barton’s house was across the street at 208 North School Street.
Miss Seeley and Mrs. Barton housed nearly 1,000 students over this period of time. A real home away from home was created, as they were always available for help and counsel. Close personal relationships were formed that lasted many years after graduation and even up to the time they passed away. Miss Seeley passed away on December 19, 1974, and Mrs. Barton passed away approximately one month later on January 20, 1975.
Miss Helen Seeley received a two-year diploma from ISNU in 1904 and was an elementary education teacher for many years. Mrs. Barton was one of the early registered nurses and also had a great interest in art and home economics. Because of these interests, it is preferred that this scholarship be awarded in one of these areas.
Close friends of Miss Seeley and Mrs. Barton have made this scholarship possible, with Miss Martha Keaton and Dr. Anna Keaton taking the initiative in making this memorial a reality. (Dr. Keaton is the former Dean of Women at Illinois State University.)