AUSTIN – Roger Winslow Stone, a veteran mariner who died saving the lives of two students when their sailboat capsized during a storm on June 6, was honored today (July 24) by The University of Texas System Board of Regents.
In a resolution adopted by the Board, Stone, a 28-year employee of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, was recognized as a hero who “embodied the university’s service mission by continually striving to improve the lives of others, both professionally and in his private life.”
In addition to the Board’s resolution, UTMB will honor Stone’s contributions with a plaque on a bench that will directly face the Gulf of Mexico at the university’s Ninth Street Circle, so that Stone’s name will be an integral part of an area used by campus commuters. The university also will establish the Roger Winslow Stone Hero Award to be given to other university employees who perpetuate his memory by demonstrating extraordinary courage and self-sacrifice in service to others.
“Roger Stone’s bravery and selfless devotion to the welfare of those students will not be forgotten," Regents’ Chairman H. Scott Caven, Jr. , said. “We will be forever grateful for his courageous actions and the remarkable example that he set for others. The plaque and the award reflect our respect and admiration for his extraordinary life. He will be remembered as a devoted parent and a mentor who dedicated his professional life to creating a positive environment for his coworkers, students and friends.”
On the evening of June 6, 2008, Stone was on a six-member sailing team participating in the 2008 Regatta de Amigos. When their boat, the Cynthia Woods, capsized, Stone pushed two students to safety as water rushed into the cabin, costing him his own life. Divers recovered his body 27 miles southeast of Freeport.
The heroic act was not his first. During the 2007 Texas Race Week, Stone and his crew broke off from the competition to save another sailboat’s crew in distress.
Stone came to UTMB in 1980 where he served in various roles, first as a biomedical photographer, then as distribution manager, process systems coordinator and eventually logistics program manager. In addition to his career at UTMB, Stone worked as an assistant coach and safety officer for the Texas A&M University at Galveston sailing team.
Stone is survived by his two children, Eric and Elizabeth; his wife of 17 years, Linda; and his mother, Doris Lacy Stone. His family was present at the Board meeting in Austin to accept the resolution.