Storer named Distinguished Alumnus for outstanding career, support of students

John “Jack” Storer, a 1950 alumnus of the College of Agricultural Sciences, received Penn State’s Distinguished Alumni Award. During a recent visit to campus, Storer, second from left, front, and his family had their photo taken at the Nittany Lion Shrine. They were accompanied by Alan Schaffranek, director of alumni relations for the college. Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — John “Jack” Storer’s legacy of accomplishment and leadership began in eighth grade when he received the American Legion School Award Medal for demonstrating strong qualities of character and good citizenship.

From there, he continued to soar as an academic and athletic standout in high school; a varsity football player, basketball player and honor student at Penn State; a U.S. marine who served in World War II; a celebrated professional in the wood products industry; a philanthropist and community leader; and a devoted family man.

Born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, the 1950 Penn State alumnus, who holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry, now has another commendation to add to his impressive inventory of achievement: the Penn State Distinguished Alumni Award, which is the highest honor presented by the University to alumni.

“Jack has enjoyed a lifetime of successes in his personal and professional lives, all of which are the result of his strong work ethic, his motivation to do what’s right, and his commitment to excellence,” said Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

“Jack also firmly believes in sharing his talents and good fortune with others, as demonstrated by his longtime support of his community, Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences. He’s highly driven to elevate young people, especially Penn State students. Jack has clearly earned the honor of being named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University.”

Storer is a retired executive vice president of the former Osmose Wood Preserving Co. in Buffalo, New York. His 62-year dedication to Osmose, a company that specialized in wood-preserving chemicals and provided a service to utilities, launched Storer to become a worldwide leader in the industry.

Beginning as a manager of the mining division at Osmose, Storer became responsible for developing business for the chemical division in the midwestern states. His responsibilities grew, and the World War II veteran found himself overseeing Osmose’s flagship railroad division with clients such as Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad. A promotion placed him as the company’s executive vice president in 1985. Following his retirement in 1990, he served Osmose through consulting and board membership. 

As for his Penn State story, Storer is a former multisport athlete who played football in the 1947 Cotton Bowl that ended in a 13-13 tie with Southern Methodist University. He was a member of the Parmi Nous Honorary Society, an invitation-only society dedicated to the advancement of outstanding scholarship and student leadership, and a recipient of the Award of Merit from the All College Cabinet of Penn State for outstanding service to the University.

During his recent visit to Penn State, John “Jack” Storer, a 1950 alumnus, visited the Penn State All-Sports Museum. Storer is a former multisport athlete who played football in the 1947 Cotton Bowl that ended in a 13-13 tie with Southern Methodist University. Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

After graduating from the University, Storer continued to support the college by serving on the Penn State Agricultural Sciences Stewardship Committee and on the Volunteer Development Council.

His belief that students need entrepreneurial skills and experiences to be successful in their careers — and also to develop new technologies — led Storer to establish two trustee scholarships in the College of Agricultural Sciences: one in support of students in the entrepreneurship and innovation minor and the other to aid those studying in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Andrew Hamilton, a rising senior majoring in agribusiness management, is one of the students who has benefited from these scholarships.

“Coming from a family that has little extra income has made paying for college challenging,” he said. “I am very grateful for the Storer Family Trustee Scholarship and plan to use my education to make the world a better place.”

In addition to Storer’s loyalty to Penn State, he is strongly committed to his community, serving as a charter member of his church, as a former president of his community country club, and as an active participant of his community’s Optimists Club, a service organization that promotes positive youth engagement.

Storer has been married to his wife, Mary, for 67 years. They reside in Madison, Wisconsin, and have five children: Mary, Jack, Carol, Janice and Robert. 

He and his wife are life members of the Penn State Alumni Association.

Last Updated July 16, 2019