Les Hauschild '57
As a student at Wooster in the mid-1950s, Les Hauschild knew how difficult it was to make ends meet. Faced with tuition and other expenses, he needed a consistent source of revenue, and he found it in a sandwich concession business, which delivered late-night snacks to students across campus. “We would make the sandwiches in the barracks and deliver them four nights a week (Monday through Thursday),” he said. “They were really good, and cheap too. It was run by students, and it was a lot of fun.”
By his junior year, Hauschild had become the owner and operator of the business that routinely served more than 100 sandwiches per night. He was also exposed to investment market research through the Wooster Student Aid Fund (later named the Jenny Investment Club) and was a regular participant in sacrificial meals (later named Soup & Bread) in which students ate a lighter meal so that a portion of the cost could be donated to a hunger fund. From those experiences, the economics major with an entrepreneurial spirit and a philanthropic heart learned the value of hard work, honesty, integrity, and, most important, generosity.
After graduation and a stint with the U.S. Army, Hauschild returned to his hometown of New Castle, PA, where he settled into the role of an investment manager with a community bank. For the next 25 years, he brought a personal touch to wealth management that clients admired and appreciated. He then started his own business, while continuing to adhere to the principles that made him a trusted consultant. “I have always been committed to addressing each individual client,” he said. “I look at it as a holistic approach to investing. There’s a lot of fraud out there. People want to work with someone they can trust.”
Hauschild, who credits Wooster with teaching him to think critically, believes this type of approach works for institutions as well as individuals, and that’s part of the reason he has been so active with the College for the past 50 years. He has served on each of the past three campaign committees and was an alumni trustee for six years. Two years ago, he received the John D. McKee Volunteer Service Award, the same year he headed up his class’s 50th anniversary gift, which totaled $1.5 million.
“Our class committee decided that we wanted to bring in $1 million for the College’s permanent endowment, which are the hardest funds to raise,” said Hauschild, whose mother, brother, uncle, and several cousins, among other relatives, attended Wooster. “We did it through a variety of charitable gift annuities as well as Estate Notes and outright gifts.”
In raising money for the endowment, Hauschild encouraged his classmates to consider a special designation for scholarships, in part because of his experience of trying to survive as a student. “We set up a Class of 1957 Scholarship Fund so that everyone could participate,” said Hauschild, who praised the committee for its excellent work. He was especially pleased that his classmates agreed to not restrict the fund, so that any student, at the College’s discretion, would be eligible. “When I was in school these funds were not there,” he said. “We felt it was important for our class to provide scholarships.”
Many in the class also established named scholarships, including Hauschild, who did so in honor of his parents. The remainder of the charitable gift annuities that Hauschild established will ultimately augment the Hauschild Family Scholarship. The arrangements met both his income goal and philanthropic ambition for the College. A charitable gift annuity allows a donor to give assets to a charity such as Wooster by entering into a contract that provides fixed annual payments to one or two beneficiaries as long as either is alive.
Hauschild advises others to consider similar options. “My philosophy has always been, the more you give, the more you get, so why not spread your blessings,” he said. “By taking income, you put yourself in a position to use it personally or for philanthropic endeavors. I think this empowers people. Gift annuities provide attractive deductions, and appreciated securities bring attractive tax benefits as well as an income, which gives you quite a bit of flexibility.”
The current market recovery, along with the government’s efforts to keep interest rates down, makes appreciated securities and cash gifts beneficial when establishing charitable gift annuities, according to Hauschild. “It’s worth looking at in a more serious way than it was a year ago,” he said. “It’s sometimes difficult to get this point across to clients, so I try to educate them. It’s hard to believe it until you see it, so I encourage them to give it a chance.”