Colleges Receive Largest Single Gift – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Colleges Receive Largest Single Gift

Trustee and former Chairman of the Board William F. Scandling pledges $15 million to support advancement efforts of the Colleges

GENEVA, N.Y. – In the opening session of the fall 2002 Board of Trustees meeting held Oct. 25, Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ President Mark D. Gearan announced the receipt of the largest single gift in the Colleges’ history. The $15 million gift from Trustee and former Chairman of the Board William F. Scandling, a Rochester, N.Y., native now living in Atherton, Calif., will be designated to support the advancement efforts of the Colleges. Scandling was on campus for the announcement.

The gift, which will include an outright gift beginning this year and a planned estate gift, adds to a legacy of generosity from Scandling to the Colleges. In addition to the $15 million gift, Scandling has contributed funds for the building the Scandling Center, the campus student union, as well as numerous scholarships. In addition to being the largest single gift in the Colleges’ history, it is one of the largest single gifts to higher education from a private donor in the region.

“I am pleased to provide this type of support to a place that is so dear to me,” said Scandling. “I hope that others will join with me as they are able in helping the Colleges to thrive today and in the future.”

Scandling, a 1949 graduate of Hobart College, founded the Saga Food Service on the Geneva campus in his senior year of college along with fellow classmates Harry “Hunk” Anderson and Bill Laughlin. Saga went on to become a leading food service company active on more than 400 campuses nationwide with nearly $1 billion in sales. The company was purchased by the Marriott Corporation in 1986. In 1994 he authored the book, “The Saga of Saga,” which told of the company’s rise from a small enterprise to the height of success. Scandling received an honorary degree from the Colleges in 1967.

“We are profoundly grateful to Bill Scandling for his generosity,” Gearan said. “His gift adds to the momentum at today’s Hobart and William Smith, and generations of students will benefit from his commitment.”

Earlier this year, the Colleges changed the name of their 65-foot research vessel from the HWS Explorer to The William Scandling, in honor of the alumnus’ 80th birthday.


The Geneva Finger Lakes Times and Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported on this story Oct. 27.

The Daily Messenger included the $15 million gift to the Colleges in its Cheers and Jeers editorials on Nov. 1. Read the praise “Cheers and Jeers”

Members of the Board of Trustees gathered on the steps of President Mark D. Gearan’s house for a ‘pass in review’ of the Colleges’ 65-foot research vessel, “The William Scandling,” and to celebrate the man for whom it was renamed.

The former “HWS Explorer” was renamed to commemorate the 80th birthday of William F. Scandling ’49, LLD ’67. Scandling was on campus for the fall Trustees meeting, at which he announced a gift to the Colleges of $15 million – the single largest gift in Hobart and William Smith history.

Wearing sailing caps featuring the insignia “The William Scandling,” the Trustees, President Gearan, faculty and staff members were joined by members of the Geneva High School Marching Band, under the direction of Karen Lucas, who played a number of spirited and patriotic selections for the event.