The Scandling Trust

A Biography of William F. Scandling '49, LL.D. '67

William F. Scandling began his journey to the top of the foodservice industry as a student at Hobart and William Smith. During his junior year, Scandling and his classmates, W. Price Laughlin '49 and Harry W. Anderson '49, took over operations of the campus dining hall. They named their enterprise the Saga Corporation, an homage to the Native American village Kanadasaga that once stood in Geneva.

After graduation, the Saga founders and entrepreneurs expanded into one of the country's leading foodservice companies, operating at 458 colleges in the United States and Canada. Saga extended its reach into hospital and corporate foodservice, and owned numerous restaurant chains. Scandling served as Saga president from 1968 to 1978 and, according to his family, said that one of his proudest moments came in 1984 when Saga was named one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

Before attending Hobart, Scandling worked for a men's clothing business but left in July of 1942 when he was called into the armed forces. He took part in the Pacific Theatre with the Army Airways Communication System where he served in many capacities, ultimately achieving the rank of technical sergeant.

As a student at Hobart, which he attended through the G.I. Bill, Scandling was a member of Kappa Alpha and Gamma Omicron Tau, the economics honors society. As an alumnus, he was a chief architect of the Colleges' success, serving on the Board of Trustees for more than three decades and as its Chair from 1972 to 1983.

Scandling's philanthropy to the Colleges is without peer. From his first gift of $10 in 1952 to The Annual Fund to establishing his first endowed scholarship fund in honor of Nat King Cole in 1969, to his consistent and important support of the general endowment and The Annual Fund, to the Scandling Student Center, his support has shaped Hobart and William Smith. During and after his lifetime, he contributed more than $50 million to his alma mater, the largest benefactor in the history of the Colleges.

A strong supporter of higher education, Scandling also contributed to many other institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, Deep Springs College, the Salk Institute and Northern Arizona University. Three years after the 1990 death of his first wife, Margaret, he made a series of gifts to her alma mater, the University of Rochester. The Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development is named in her memory. Following in his father's footsteps of service, Scandling's son Michael sits on the National Council of the Warner School. He and his wife Kathy, who live in California, remain engaged with the Colleges.

In honor of Scandling's unwavering support of the Colleges, the 65-foot HWS research vessel was renamed the William F. Scandling, and in 1984, the Colleges opened the doors of the Scandling Campus Center. Located at the heart of campus, Scandling Campus Center serves many purposes, but perhaps most notably houses the main student dining hall, the Great Hall of Saga.

In 1995, Scandling married Yvette Farquharson-Oliver. In honor of their wedding, family and friends established The William '49 and Yvette Scandling Scholarship which provides general scholarship aid for students. Bill Scandling died in 2005. Yvette Scandling died in 2013.



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For more information contact:

Leila Rice
Associate Vice President for Advancement
(315) 781-3545


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