William P. Stiritz is chairman of the board of both Energizer Holdings Inc., a manufacturer of primary batteries and flashlights and a provider of portable power, and Ralcorp Holdings Inc., a publicly owned food company. Stiritz received an honorary doctor of humanities degree in 2003.
He served for more than 30 years in executive positions with Ralston Purina, including as chairman, president and chief executive officer from 1981-1997.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University in 1959 and a master’s degree in European history from Saint Louis University in 1968.
As a member of Washington University in St. Louis’ Board of Trustees from 1982-1998, he chaired the board’s Danforth Finance Committee, helping steer the university’s growth and progress.
In 1998, Stiritz and his wife, Susan, created the university’s first endowed professorship in women’s studies — now known as the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program — strengthening the increasingly important academic program in Arts & Sciences.
Stiritz has been actively involved in numerous St. Louis civic efforts, including heading an American Red Cross Blood Drive and a Boy Scout Food Drive and chairing three separate Salvation Army Tree of Lights annual fundraising campaigns.