Hiram College

Endowment gifts to aid in areas of science and math

field-station-featHiram College has much to celebrate this new year. Officials are very appreciative of friends and alumni who contributed more than $1.5 million to establish the ‘Edward J. Smerek Chair in Mathematics, the Sciences and Technology’ and $500,000 to establish the ‘Stanley and Lois S. Proctor Director of Field Station Academic Programs Endowment Fund’ for the James H. Barrow Field Station, a research and educational facility that enhances the College’s science and environmental studies program.

A large portion of that support originated from two single sources: a generous, $867,000 estate gift from Cleveland businessman Stan Proctor and a gift of $500,000 from an anonymous donor.

“We are exceedingly grateful to Stan Proctor. Mr. Proctor was a beloved member of the Board of Trustees who believed in the teaching mission of Hiram College. Through his work on the board, he knew first-hand the transformative power of a Hiram education,” said Hiram College President, Lori Varlotta. “Thanks to these most recent gifts, that power will continue to transform the lives of students – and those who teach them – for many years to come.”

About Stanley Proctor and the ‘Stanley and Lois S. Proctor Director of Field Station Academic Programs Endowment Fund’ for the James H. Barrow Field Station

Cleveland businessman Stanley Proctor, who served as a member of the Hiram College Board of Trustees from 1974 – 1997, and as emeritus director until his passing, died in May 2014. Under the terms of his $867,000 estate gift, $350,000 of his funds were designated to be used toward the funding of the ‘Edward J. Smerek Chair in Mathematics, the Sciences and Technology’ and the remaining $517,000 to establish the ‘Stanley and Lois S. Proctor Director of Field Station Academic Programs Endowment Fund’ for the James H. Barrow Field Station.

Known by many in the Cleveland area as founder, president and later chairman of the Stanley M. Proctor Company specializing in the distribution of fluid-power electronic, pneumatic apparatus, hydraulic and electric hydraulic plant automation products, he was also known as a local philanthropist and volunteer, serving on the boards of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music, among other organizations.

Proctor served in the United States Army, Signal Corp as a radar officer, reaching the rank of captain, and earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1943. His wife, the former Lois Stern, died in 1997. His son, John D. Proctor, currently serves as president and CEO of the Stanley M. Proctor Co.

About the Edward J. Smerek Chair in Mathematics, the Sciences and Technology

The Edward J. Smerek Chair in Mathematics, the Sciences and Technology is currently held by Brad Goodner, Ph.D., professor of biology. The endowment honors the legacy of Ed Smerek, Ph.D., professor emeritus of mathematics, who taught at the College for more than 36 years. The fund was developed in 2004 by alumni who have cited Professor Smerek as being influential to their lives and their education. More than 60 donors have given gifts to aid in the establishment of this endowment, but the endowment was not fully realized. Funds received from the Proctor estate helped push the funding to $1 million. One anonymous donor, whose lead gift inspired others, was committed to the funding of the endowed chair position, and offered to match all gifts up to $500,000. Through this anonymous gift, more than $1.5 million was raised to complete funding for the endowment.