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Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Stocker Memorial Fund

Alumni and colleagues of John Glenn College of Public Affairs Professor Frederick D. “Fritz” Stocker have established a scholarship to honor his memory.

A Friend to Students

In 1969, Professor Frederick D. “Fritz” Stocker was among the founders of the Division of Public Administration — the seed for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs — at The Ohio State University. 

“He helped shape the culture of the school as a family and as a link between the academic world and the work or applied world,” said Bill Shkurti, Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the Glenn College, who was a student of Stocker as an economics major and retired in 2010 after 20 years as the university’s vice president for business and finance. 

black and white headshot photo of Frederick Stocker.
Professor Frederick D. “Fritz” Stocker

When he obtained his Master of Public Administration in 1974, Shkurti crossed paths again with Stocker, who taught both economics and public administration. 

“He helped me get an internship with the Governor’s Task Force on Health Care, and that turned out to be a wonderful opportunity for me to make connections and launch my career in state government,” said Shkurti, who served as director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management and chief of staff to the chair of the Ohio Senate Finance Committee. “He was a great person who would do anything to help students.” 

Shkurti hears similar fond memories again and again as he leads an effort to establish the Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Stocker Memorial Fund in honor of his mentor, who passed away in 2022 at the age of 95, to provide scholarships to graduate students in the Glenn College. 

Richard Levin, former Ohio Tax Commissioner, joined Shkurti in coordinating the fundraising. In 1970, Stocker was part of a three-professor panel that grilled Levin in an oral exam required for his master’s degree in economics. 

“A couple weeks before the oral defense, he invited me to his office where he asked all about my academic and career interests and goals. He put me completely at ease. It was clear that he was on my side and wanted me to succeed,” said Levin, who obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Ohio State. “From that day forward, I knew that Fritz Stocker was a very special teacher and human being.” 

Levin followed Stocker’s career path in public finance and taxation, working at the Ohio Department of Taxation for 25 years, including four as Ohio tax commissioner and, for 15 years, running a consulting firm specializing in state and local finance. 

Stocker was an economist with the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., before his appointment as an economics professor at Ohio State. During the administration of Ohio Gov. John Gilligan, Stocker chaired a committee tasked with creating a proposed income tax system for the State. For this work he received commendations from the Ohio governor, Senate and House of Representatives. Following his retirement from Ohio State in 1987, Stocker served for several years as executive director of the National Tax Association, an organization committed to the study of public taxation, spending and borrowing decisions by governments around the world. 

Shkurti and Levin have helped raised more than $26,000 toward the $100,000 goal to create a permanent endowment to honor Stocker’s legacy to the college.

“I hope that students supported by the Stocker Scholarship Fund share his passion for public service,” Levin said, “and follow his example to use their skills in the pursuit of informed public policy and making a better world for their generation and generations to come.” 

Richard Levin
Former Ohio Tax Commissioner

Memories about Professor Frederick D. “Fritz” Stocker

We first met in Washington, D.C. I was finishing a dissertation year at the Brookings Institution, and Fritz was part of a national public finance study. We connected at Ohio State where I regularly sought his advice on academic, teaching and scholarly matters. He generously connected me with public finance types in D.C. and various universities. We teamed up on at least one Ohio project. My fondest memory in our travels around the state is of him telling me about his undergrad days at Cornell University, where he played trombone in a dance band. Seems to fit the man perfectly.

To know Fritz is to love Fritz — such a kind, funny and interesting person. He was more than a professor. He was a friend to everyone he met. He was interested in everyone he met. He wanted to know about your interests. He had a broad view of the world and brought the real world into his classes. He was a mentor at heart, the kind of mentor who gets you talking, opening up about your ideas. When Fritz walked into my office, I smiled. It was going to be a nice conversation. My best memory of Fritz is that the man was low maintenance. No demanding anything. No complaining about anything. He supervised a graduate assistant in his role as executive director of the National Tax Association. He and his graduate assistant always had a wonderful working relationship. He was that way with students — teaching, guiding, caring. 

Fritz often included me as a guest speaker in his fiscal administration capstone seminar. That gave me an opportunity to see him in action: how he inspired his students with enthusiasm, sensitivity and wisdom. After he retired, the public affairs department chair twice asked me to teach Dr. Stocker’s entire course. I was, of course, honored to teach my mentor’s course. From his example, I learned the impact you could have on students’ lives. 

When the opportunity opened for the Governor’s Task Force on Health Care, they were hiring interns. My instructor went to Fritz to see he if would put in good word for me. Fritz was very positive and supportive of me moving forward with that. He was extremely well-connected downtown, so if you had his support that meant a lot. He was kind of a one-person employment agency for public affairs graduates because had connections downtown with state government, nonprofits and city governments. 

Founding Donors to the Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Stocker Memorial Fund:

  • Betsy Bayha 
  • Julianne Ryan 
  • Carol Bessey 
  • Albert W. Erickson 
  • Paul J. Feldman 
  • Dom Frissora 
  • Michael J. Gable 
  • Lucy Gettman 
  • Cindy Holodnak 
  • Richard and Ann Levin 
  • Joanne Limbach 
  • Howard Maier 
  • Paul Marshall
  • Mary and Howard Marvel 
  • Ron and Bobbie Mucha 
  • Phyllis M. Newman 
  • Bill Shkurti 

* List denotes donors who contributed more than $250 through Aug. 15, 2023.