The University of Akron Wayne College Alumni Association has awarded a posthumous Distinguished Alumni Award for 2014 to Mr. Karl Stroh. The award will be accepted at the College’s annual graduate recognition ceremony on May 9 by Stroh’s wife of 55 years, Mrs. Carol Stroh.
Stroh had the unique privilege of being the first graduate of Wayne College (then Wayne General and Technical College) where he earned an Associate of Arts degree in 1973.
As a Navy veteran, Stroh decided to use his G.I. Bill benefits to continue his education and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from The University of Akron. His two children, two of his grandchildren, and his wife also attended Wayne College.
As a charter member of the Wayne College alumni association, Stroh served the association in several administrative capacities through the years, including as chair. He also participated in the College’s 40th anniversary celebration in 2012.
Carol says her husband was never idle, and always “jumped in with both feet.” In addition staying busy as a dairy farmer, he joined many organizations and often held leadership positions. He was president of the Farm Bureau, Master of The Grange, and also served as a Paint Township Trustee for over 28 years – writing over $650,000 in grants that helped pay for a new fire truck, fire station, community park, and a township garage.
Of his time at Wayne College, Carol says it was busy for them both since they were already married and farming at the time, but that he relished it. “He always liked studying things and figuring things out, so it was enjoyable,” she said.
UA Wayne College Interim Dean Dan Deckler says Stroh is an excellent choice for the Distinguished Alumni Award. “Karl was a hard-working man who was thirsty for knowledge. If something needed to be done, Karl was willing to figure out how to do it and then roll up his sleeves. He always left things better than he found them, and while he will be missed, his legacy will certainly live on.”