In 1965, he became the first of his family to earn a college degree and receive his ROTC commission in the U.S. Army.
Nearly 50 years later, former Buffalo resident and staunch Buffalo Bills fan Marvin W. Stocker and his wife, Donna, have surpassed a quarter of a million dollars in lifetime giving to St. Bonaventure University — all to help others experience a St. Bonaventure education.
The University today announced the Stockers’ pledge of $50,000 to the School of Business Building Campaign.
Mr. Stocker hopes that his family’s gift, which will be paid over the next five years, will inspire the University’s more than 25,000 alumni and will illustrate how donors can give larger donations over time.
“My years as an Army officer taught me you lead by example,” he said. “My hope is that others will follow in supporting this campaign.”
St. Bonaventure is in the final critical months of raising $15 million to construct a 26,000-square-foot building to house its School of Business. The new center will feature high-tech classrooms, a financial services lab, a state-of-the-art boardroom, and special meeting and office spaces for student groups and faculty.
A resident of Ellicott City, Md., Mr. Stocker graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He served as an Army officer in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967, and later enjoyed a 37-year career with General Electric (GE) in senior marketing and sales management positions. He said he would not have qualified for GE without his St. Bonaventure degree. He retired in 2003.
A two-term president of the National Alumni Association Board and five-term co-chair of The Bonaventure Fund, Mr. Stocker received the 2005 Alumnus of the Year Award for his volunteer efforts. He currently serves on the University’s Board of Trustees.
He credited much of his success to his alma mater and shared that it was his parents’ dream that he attend a Catholic university.
“I don’t think I could ever repay what St. Bonaventure University meant to my parents,” said Mr. Stocker. “My dad served all across Europe in World War II and was so proud that I became an officer through St. Bonaventure. A comptroller for General Motors in Buffalo, he was equally proud of my accounting degree. And my mother cherished the Franciscan values I received from St. Bonaventure.”
The Stockers’ gift to the campaign brings their lifetime giving to the University, including matching gifts, to $281,500.
“I have been giving back to Bona’s since 1965, so this has been a lifetime investment,” said Mr. Stocker. “My family and I are pleased to be able to support St. Bonaventure in honor of the many friars and professors who left lasting impressions on me. I have such fond memories of so many fantastic people. Friars such as Robert Gavin, Gervase White, Fidelis O’Rourke, Dan ‘Hurles’ Hurley and, of course, Dan ‘The Man’ Riley, and legendary professors such as Leo Keenan, Austin Finan, Ed Emerling, Joseph Guson, Bill Long, and so many more will forever remain in my heart.”
Mr. Stocker and his wife Donna, a retired nurse, have three daughters and seven grandchildren.
The University broke ground for the new business building on March 23. Construction will begin by June, with occupancy set for fall 2013.
“The new William E. & Ann L. Swan Business Center is a key element in our overall strategic plan,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., president of the University. “We have seen firsthand the power of new facilities on our campus, and know that investing in this building will position us to better compete for high-quality students and faculty who want to be part of a unique and distinctive scholarly environment."
The $15 million campaign will provide: $10 million for the construction of the new business center; $4 million in endowments for faculty and programmatic support; and $1 million for building endowment.
More than $13 million has been raised to date.
Donations to the campaign may be made by visiting www.sbu.edu/bullishonbusiness/donate or by calling (800) 664-1273.
For more on the William E. & Ann L. Swan Business Center and the School of Business Campaign, go to www.sbu.edu/bullishonbusiness.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.