Honoring Dr. Stone

Memorial held for beloved UW-W professor


Robbie Elsbury Jr.

Mrs. Sandra Stone holds the football her husband would toss around with colleagues as Chancellor Dwight C. Watson expresses his gratitude for Dr. Stone’s many years of service to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Scout Springgate, Managing Editor

This past summer, UW-Whitewater was saddened to learn that Dr. John Stone, a valued, influential friend and colleague passed away. In remembrance of Dr. Stone’s life and contributions to the university, a recognition event was held in the University Center Old Main Ballroom Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.

Dr. Stone began his tenure at UW-W in 1989, where he would serve as an assistant professor within the Department of Communication. From then on, Dr. Stone served in a multitude of different roles within the university. Some of the important roles Dr. Stone served during his time at UW-W include Interim and eventual Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Interim Provost and Senior Associate Dean of UW System Extended Campus.

During the recognition event, close colleagues and friends gave their remarks and spoke of fond interactions with Dr. Stone throughout his tenure at UW-Whitewater. The overall theme of many of these remarks was that he treated everyone equally, regardless of the individual’s position or title.

“He was supportive no matter what his position was… In every role he had on this campus, his support was consistent. It didn’t necessarily connect with the person and the job,” said Dr. Robin Fox, Interim Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. “He built confidence in people who maybe might not otherwise have it.”

Due to Dr. Stone serving in a variety of positions on campus, he was able to understand the different facets of the university. According to many who spoke during the recognition event, this knowledge of the university allowed him to connect deeper with his colleagues.

“If he had been Provost, he was in a unique position to know every aspect of campus and know so many people. When he was interim [Provost], he knew all of the operations. In addition, because he was with HLC [Higher Learning Commission], he knew about accreditation,” said Dr. Stone’s wife, Sandra. “Because he had worn so many hats, he had a unique ability to really know the whole campus.”

As part of Dr. Stone’s family, their son Ian attended the event alongside Sandra and other family members. They sat near the front, while colleagues and close friends comforted them nearby.

Ian, 26, currently works within the University of Wisconsin-Extended Campus in Madison. While in his youth, Ian attended the UW-W daycare program in the Roseman Building while Dr. Stone worked. At the time, he was supervised by Dr. Robin Fox while in the daycare program.

“Given that he brought me here so much as a kid, I got to see so much of the campus even when I was four or five years old. This became a model of what a workplace was like, seeing him interact with his colleagues. Seeing how the humor, joy and fun he could bring to a job that was often kind of stressful and overwhelming was huge and influential for me and still is a model to this day of what I want to see when I’m at a workplace. I want it to be that kind of community supportiveness and fun,” said Ian Stone.

As UW-W mourns the loss of such an influential and inspiring man, the benefits of Dr. Stone’s hard work and devotion to the campus shine bright and create new aspirations for current and future scholars to achieve.