COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's a settlement two years in the making in a hazing case that grabbed national attention: $2.9 million now going to the family of Stone Foltz, but they say it's not about the money.
For Cory and Shari Foltz, it's about using that settlement money to deliver on a promise. A promise they made to their son when he passed away.
“I think he would tell us he's proud of us,” said Shari Foltz. “He knows we have the fight in us and we won't stop. That day in the hospital and making that promise to him that we would end hazing. And we wouldn't allow this to happen to anyone else.”
Together, Shari and Cory created a foundation in the name of their late son.
In March 2021, the 20-year-old Delaware native was a sophomore at Bowling Green State University when he died from alcohol poisoning in a PIKE fraternity hazing ritual.
In June 2022, three former members were sentenced to jail terms, two others were ordered to serve house arrest.
In August, two other former members were sentenced to six weeks in jail after being convicted of hazing-related misdemeanor counts. The two men were both acquitted in May of more serious charges — including involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide.
Now, the university has settled with the Foltz family for $2.9 million. Money the foundation will use to end hazing.
“With our foundation, we have done several different speaking engagements and part of our training is as simple as alcohol poisoning. ">
In September, Cory and Shari spoke to student-athletes at Denison University in Granville. With this settlement money, they are taking their story to more places, younger students.
“We need to teach them about peer pressure and belonging. We need to give them a sense of you know how to handle that before they get off to college and you know have their own responsibilities and becoming an adult making those decisions."
While a settlement may appear to be the end of the case, for the Foltz family, they are just getting started.
“Obviously the money has nothing that means anything to us because it's not going to bring Stone back. But what it does is it allows us to move forward,” Shari said.
Together the university and family issued this statement:
"The Foltz family and Bowling Green State University are forever impacted by the tragic death of Stone Foltz. This resolution keeps the Foltz family and BGSU community from reliving the tragedy for years to come in the courtroom and allows us to focus on furthering our shared mission of eradicating hazing in Ohio and across the nation. Leading these efforts in our communities is the real work that honors Stone."