BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The parents of a 20-year-old Bowling Green State University student who died of alcohol poisoning while pledging a fraternity say they are on a mission to end hazing at colleges across the country.
Corey and Shari Fultz, Stone Folts’ parentswho died in 2021, was paid nearly $3 million by Bowling Green State University on Monday.
The settlement — which the university and Foltzes announced at a news conference Monday — stems from a lawsuit the Foltzes filed against the university last year, alleging that their 20-year-old son was subjected to heinous acts by Pi Kappa International Alpha Fraternity, better known as PIKE, during his year Second in college, when he was a pledge.
The Foltzes said they plan to use the settlement money to support their ongoing efforts to end hazing.
After the death of their son, the couple divorced iamstonefoltz foundationand is “dedicated to keeping the memory of Stone Foltz alive and to commemorate acts of kindness to others,” according to the foundation’s website.
“When we got into the hospital and Stone was on a bed with all the tubes and the ventilator and everything hooked up to it, Shari whispered to him that she wasn’t going to let this happen to another family or another student,” Corey Fultz said. An interview that aired Tuesday on Good Morning America. “And this is the point where we have dedicated everything we can to help other families see a loved one go through this tragedy.”
Corey Fultz added that it makes him “proud” to see their son’s legacy take shape in the form of an end to the harassment.
“As his father, I feel proud to hear about the number of lives he has been able to save and help,” he said. “The stone is my hero.”
The lawsuit filed by the family alleged that Stone Foltz and other pledges were moved to the basement of the Bowling Green, Ohio, home after the off-campus Pi Kappa Alpha initiation event in March 2021. At home, according to the lawsuit, he was forced to. Drink an entire liter of bourbon during your hazing ritual.
According to the lawsuit, it was said that Stone Foltz ordered the bottle to be finished and that members of the hyperbole would take care of it.
The suit alleged that due to heavy drinking, Stone Foltz spent nearly three days in a coma and died on March 7, 2021, of alcohol poisoning.
Bowling Green State University permanently expelled the fraternity in April 2021, saying they would not be recognized by the university again due to hazing, which the university said in a statement was “absolutely intolerable.”
A university investigation concluded, “The fraternity is reckless with disregard for the health and safety” of the community, according to the statement.
Eight former Stone fraternity members eventually pleaded guilty or were convicted of charges ranging from reckless murder to hazing and giving alcohol to a minor. According to the Associated Press, two of them were later acquitted of more serious charges, including manslaughter and reckless killing.
Those two men – Jacob Crane and Troy Henriksen – were sentenced in August. Crane received 42 days in jail and 100 hours of community service, while Henriksen was sentenced to 42 days in prison and 28 days of house arrest, according to local ABC affiliate WTVG-TV.
In the wake of the newly announced settlement, Bowling Green State and the Foltz family, through the iamstonefoltz foundation, issued a joint statement saying they share a commitment to “eliminate hazing in Ohio and across the country.”
“The Fultz family and Bowling Green State University are forever affected by the tragic death of Stone Fultz,” the statement said. “This decision prevents the Foltz family and the BGSU community from reliving the tragedy for years to come in the courtroom and allows us to focus on advancing our shared mission of eliminating hazing in Ohio and across the country. Leading these efforts in our communities is the true work that honors Stone.”
The settlement does not include any admission of wrongdoing by Bowling Green State.
Rex Elliott, the attorney for the Fultz family, told GMA of the nearly $3 million settlement, “As far as we know, this is the largest settlement for a public university, certainly in the state of Ohio, and what that means is we have a university that is willing to come together and work with us to put an end to it.” to tease definitively—and for that, Bowling Green must be applauded.”
Shari Fultz, who along with her husband is also the father of Stone Fultz’s two younger siblings, told “GMA” that she and her family are ready to move forward and keep her promise to her son not to let another family suffer.
“Nothing will bring back Stone, no amount of money,” she said. “So, frankly, it’s just a matter of leaving things behind and moving on, doing what we promised.”
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