BGSU Magazine Summer 2008
Paying It Forward
Act of kindness blossoms into multimillion dollar gift
Forty years ago, Kermit Stroh was on Bowling Green State University’s campus to do a job. Providing color commentary at regional basketball games for WERM-AM, a Wapakoneta, Ohio, radio station, was one way to get advertising for his fledgling propane gas company–Moulton Gas Service. For the radio hook, he was known as “Kerm on the WERM.”
From his time as a visitor, as a parent and even as a Falcon faithful, Stroh’s commitment to the University has grown exponentially. The half-century relationship with the institution has netted degrees for two daughters, a son-in-law, two grandsons and their Falcon Flames.
For Stroh, it also resulted in a nine-year term as a member of the BGSU Board of Trustees, an honorary doctorate in public service, being named an Honorary Alumnus by the BGSU Alumni Association and making the largest gift in the University’s nearly 100-year history.
The center will provide a state-of-the-art facility, and at the same time, retain the same level of intimacy and energy that is the cornerstone of Anderson Arena, where he first made his acquaintance with BGSU.
“The one thing I hope is that the Stroh Center will be much more than just a basketball arena. I hope it will be able to facilitate events, activities and opportunities for the University and the greater community … for business gatherings, concerts and convocations. It will offer versatility for many different events,” Stroh explains.
He doesn’t want to be alone in making a difference. “I am asking a lot of people to join me in this charge,” he says. “I have an intense desire to show people the benefits of this project and to join me in becoming a part of this evolution.”
It’s the same message he has shared with hundreds of alumni and friends as part of his role as co-chair with Ron Whitehouse ’67 for the University’s $120 million comprehensive campaign: “Be a part of something good. Continue the BGSU trademark and show how much you care.”
Click here for more details on the Stroh Center