Ohio University alumna Beth Kilpatrick Stocker received a 2003-04 Founders Citation on Sept. 27 at the Honors Convocation ceremony on campus. She became the second person to receive a citation this year, following Professor Emeritus Eric Wagner.
The Founders Citation, the highest honor presented by the Ohio University Board of Trustees, is awarded to people who have distinguished themselves through exemplary service to Ohio University as members of the faculty or administration, loyal alumni, devoted volunteers or generous philanthropists. Before this year, the prestigious award had only been awarded five times and hadn't been awarded since 1977.
Stocker, an Oberlin, Ohio, resident, received a bachelor's of science degree from Ohio University in 1928 and an honorary degree in 2003, is an honorary chair of Ohio University's Bicentennial Campaign and has been an honorary member of the Russ College Board of Visitors. Her late husband, Paul, who earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1926 and an honorary degree in 1974 from Ohio University, bequeathed $8 million to support a visiting professorship, equipment purchases and research in the College of Engineering and Technology upon his death in 1978. Because much of the couple's giving has been to endowments, their gifts to the Russ College have nearly doubled in size and now provide almost $1.5 million each year.
Stocker Center, home to the Russ College, was named in honor of the couple. Beth served as an honorary co-chair of the Third Century Campaign and was a member of its steering committee. She has contributed gifts to benefit the PACE program, National Endowment for the Humanities Matching Grant, Cutler Scholar Program, Stocker Center, Alden Library, Kids on Campus, Richard and Eleanora Robe Leadership Fund, Stocker Career Resource Center, pre-engineering program for minorities and the Stocker Undergraduate Intern Program.
The Stockers are past recipients of the John C. Baker Founder's Award, the Ohio University Alumni Association Alumni of the Year Award and the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen's Award.
Stocker is board president emeritus of the Stocker Foundation, in Lorain, Ohio. The family foundation champions the interests of the arts, education, youth and self-help for disadvantaged and disabled individuals. She has been involved with Lorain County Community College, Lorain Palace Civic Center and the YWCA. A former Girl Scout leader, she has been an active volunteer with the Erie Shores Girl Scout Council as a member of the board and a funding committee for disadvantaged children and working at a local camp.
Her community has honored her volunteerism and leadership in several ways, including with the Eric C. Nord Leadership Award. She has three daughters, Jane Norton, Nancy Woodling and Mary Ann Dobras; eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.