The Bowling Green State University athletics family mourns the passing of Kermit “Kerm” Stroh, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 88.
Stroh, who earned an honorary doctorate from BGSU in 2002 and was named a BGSU honorary alumnus in 2003, is a 2022 inductee into the BGSU Athletics Hall of Fame. His transformational support continues to impact countless student-athletes, coaches and teams at the university.
Stroh helped co-found Moulton Gas Service Inc., with his father Elmer Stroh in 1958 in Wapakoneta. Over the years, the company was developed by the family, and later expanded to provide approximately 21 million gallons of retail propane annually to 23,000 customers from four retail locations and 11 satellite plants in Ohio.
It was Stroh’s commitment to expanding the company that first brought him to the BGSU campus in the early 1960s. As a way to gain radio advertising for his fledgling propane gas company, he provided color commentary at regional basketball games for WERM-AM, a Wapakoneta-based radio station. For his radio hook, he was known as “Kerm from WERM,” and while at BGSU for regional basketball games, he was treated so kindly that he maintained his connection to the University, sending two of his daughters to BGSU, and eventually serving on the BGSU Board of Trustees, being called one of the university’s most vocal cheerleaders.
In 2004, when Inergy LP purchased Moulton Gas Service, Stroh and son-in-law Van Wright (a 1977 graduate) retired from the company, while the 90 other employees were offered employment under the new ownership.
In his community, Stroh has been involved with many civic organizations including the Ohio Gas Propane Association, Rotary Club, Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Committee and Auglaize County Regional Planning Commission.
Stroh was appointed to the trustees from 1993-2002, and served for two years as board chair from 1999-2001. He also served as chair of the academic and student affairs committee and co-chaired the capital campaign from 2008-2011. He was a member of the BGSU Falcon Club, Presidents Club and a supporter of the Coaches Corner. He was also recognized with the Doyt Perry Award.
In 2008, he and his family announced an $8 million gift to the university to support the construction of the convocation center, now known as the Stroh Center, as well as funds for intercollegiate athletics and the Kermit and Mary Lu Stroh Scholarship fund for students from Auglaize ,Hardin, Logan, Mercer and Shelby counties.
Two of Stroh’s daughters — Tracey Wright and Melissa Wansker — are BGSU graduates, as is son-in-law Van Wright and grandsons Cameron and Alex Wright.
Stroh was recognized as a special inductee in this year’s BGSU Athletics Hall of Fame class, being honored for his consistent and significant contributions to BGSU Athletics, and will officially be inducted on Friday.