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Shirley and Lee Stockton’s gift pushes engineering campaign closer to goal

Mar 24, 2017

Lee Stockton’s legacy of contributing to the success of Ohio Northern University’s engineering students continues with a recent lead gift he and his wife, Shirley, made to the University’s “Campaign for Engineering: Building Impact at ONU.” The endeavor will help fund a new building for the T.J. Smull College of Engineering.

The 105,000-square-foot facility will be nearly twice the size of the current 55,000-square-foot Biggs Engineering Building and will feature space for collaboration, class projects and community-building, helping ONU remain on the cutting edge of educating engineers who make a difference.

To date, a total of $12.3 million has been committed toward the total fundraising goal of $15 million for the building.

The Stocktons, who reside in Troy, Ohio, are committed to philanthropy and service. They have been strong supporters of Ohio Northern through the sharing of time, insights and resources. They are Life Members of the Henry Solomon Lehr Society.

Lee Stockton, who earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from ONU in 1961, had an accomplished career and has always been mindful of his alma mater. He has regularly contributed financially to ONU and, upon retirement, has shared his time and expertise by serving on committees and judging the College of Engineering’s senior capstone projects.

Through these experiences, he has remained connected to Ohio Northern and engaged with the University’s engineering students.

“The students are working on advanced projects I would not have expected them to work on until a few years into their careers,” he said.

He also recognized the need for the new engineering building to ensure ONU remains on the forefront in the changing landscape of engineering education.

“I went to ONU at a time when computers and even handheld calculators did not exist,” he said. “Things have changed considerably. Students spend a tremendous amount of time working on projects, and they need the space. You can’t build a concrete canoe in a closet.”

Stockton used his own ONU educational experience in his career pursuits.

He spent 43 years working for Price Brothers (now Hanson Pipe and Precast) in Dayton, Ohio, a company that manufactures concrete products for bridges, pipelines, culverts, sanitary sewers, and floor and roof systems. He was active on American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and ASTM committees dealing with the design and installation of concrete pipe.

Stockton retired in 2004 as the senior vice president of the corporation. During his engineering career, he specialized in quality control, product design, research and development, product promotion, sales, field service, and international marketing. He traveled across the United States and the world, including China, North Africa, South America and South Korea.

While gaining a worldwide viewpoint, he never lost the perspective he gained at ONU in terms of doing his best and, as the Stocktons’ gift proves, paying forward to help others receive the same high-quality education that paved the way for his accomplishments.

 “I devoted a tremendous amount of time to my work,” he says. “I was committed to doing a good job.”