Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  24 / 68 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 24 / 68 Next Page
Page Background

Bob retired from the board, we had over $100 million. To put this in context, if Bob as

chairman of the board had been able to double our endowment in ten years it would have

been extraordinary, but the increase was six-fold.”

The impact of a stronger endowment cannot be overstated, explained Trachte. “Growing

the endowment like that in terms of the percentages is almost unprecedented, and as we

enter an era of intense competition over price, we are now at a competitive advantage over

our peers. Lycoming can offer the kind of financial aid we need to attract the strongest

students, and given our excellent debt ratio, we can borrow if necessary to take advantage of

growth opportunities. More than the athletic center, more than the buildings, the endowed

professorships, more than all that, creating the strong foundation for Lycoming was at the

center of Bob Shangraw’s leadership.”

“The future of the college and the country is going to be its demographic diversity, and

that can be an enormous strength for the country and the college, but you have to be able

to help get students through financially. Bob was a visionary and understood that early on,”

Douthat attested. “He connected the dots and saw that long-term health and growth of the

college was fundamentally connected to the growth of the endowment.”

In addition to his work on the board, Shangraw was chair to three fundraising campaigns,

bringing in $36 million for the college. Perhaps because Shangraw was such a legendary

fundraiser, “He was the kind of guy you hated to see coming, because you knew what was

coming,” joked long-time friend Hugh “Pete” Sides ’60, who was on the board with Shangraw.

“You’d walk away poorer, but richer for the experience, and you really felt pretty good.”

Fultz recalls with mirth the period when he was acting treasurer at Lycoming, commuting

from Rochester, N.Y., each week to work. Shangraw had tapped him for a donation to renovate

the Hiawatha riverboat, a popular tourist draw for Williamsport. “Three months later he calls

about a children’s home. I said, OK, how much? It became a way of life. I thought, ‘Shangraw is

after me when I don’t even live here! What will he do if I move back?’ ”

But of course, Shangraw’s generosity began at home. “Bob was a born leader, and he never

asked anyone to do something that he wouldn’t - or hadn’t already - done himself,” emphasized

Failor. Bob’s wife, Charlene Shangraw, concurred. “He gave away as much as he kept for

himself and his family, and wouldn’t have had it any other way.” Beyond the College, the list of

organizations, churches, institutions and charitable foundations he supported included nearly

every nonprofit in the Williamsport area, and many outside it.

He was bigger

than life.

He had a real

presence.

When Bob

walked into a

room you knew

he was there.

He connected

the dots

and saw

that long-term

health and

growth of the

college was

fundamentally

connected

to the growth

of the

endowment.

Bob always

felt he got

more back

than he gave.

Shangraw with his wife, Charlene

24

LYCOMING COLLEGE 2016 SUMMER MAGAZINE

F E AT U R E