Stolls endow Program for Law and Society

Sheryl Atkinson Stoll ’70 was the leading proponent and a key architect of Cornell College’s pre-law program, which has become a springboard for students to some of the nation’s top law schools and a nationally ranked mock trial team. Now Sheryl and her husband, Bill, an honorary alumnus of the college, have committed the lead gift to endow the Stoll Program for Law and Society.

Sheryl Atkinson Stoll ’70 and Bill StollBill, a Georgetown University graduate, has been greatly impressed by the quality of Cornell’s students, faculty, and alumni. “Students in the program, especially through mock trial, are learning life and workplace skills that will be invaluable to them, whether they decide to pursue law or not,” added Bill.

The Stolls’ gift will ensure the program exists in perpetuity and furthers Cornell’s Greater >Than campaign goal to increase Cornell’s endowment.

“There is no one who loves mock trial and Law and Society more than Sheryl. She sees so clearly the way they contribute to our mission and transform our students into purpose-driven, articulate, and creative leaders,” said President Jonathan Brand. “We are sincerely grateful to Sheryl and Bill for their leadership in establishing this program and now for ensuring its future.”

The Stolls are both retired from distinguished legal careers and live in Columbus, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas. Sheryl has been a Cornell College trustee since 2002 and Bill serves on the Board’s Investment Committee.

Sheryl attended the University of Iowa College of Law and began her legal career as an attorney with Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She then became a partner with the firm of Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney, where for many years she focused on start-up businesses and technology and copyright law. While there she was selected to serve on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s three-person delegation to a multi-national steering committee charged with drafting legal standards for international partnerships in intelligent manufacturing. She also served on the Pittsburgh Chamber’s Commission for Women and was the first Pittsburgh recipient of its Athena Award recognizing women who demonstrate excellence in their profession, contribute to their community, and help other women to succeed through mentorship. With the Stolls’ move to Columbus, she joined Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, retiring in 2010.

After a brief time in private practice, Bill went on to serve as VP and Deputy General Counsel for Westinghouse, Senior VP and General Counsel of Borden, Inc., and Executive VP, General Counsel and Secretary of Lennox International in Dallas, retiring in 2008. He is active with Georgetown, presently as a Senator of its Board of Governors.  

The Stolls have been longtime supporters of the Center for Law and Society and Cornell’s Annual Fund. They also provided support to the science facilities project as well as the Garner President’s House, Thomas Commons, and first-year residence hall renovations. The Atkinson Courtroom in the Thomas Commons, serving as a classroom and Mock Trial practice facility, was named in honor and memory of Sheryl’s parents.