‘Something to be proud of’

With $200K endowment, Schoenberger reflects on evolution of CBA

Dick and Susan, ’78 & ’79, Schoenberger are giving CBA students even more opportunities to thrive. They have created a $200,000 endowment to support two $3,000 scholarships annually.

Posted 11:59 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2000

Dick Schoenberger remembers when the College of Business Administration was in its infancy.

“I came here in January of 1973 … when we were just the School of Business,” says Schoenberger, longtime Economics Department faculty member. “There was no dean, just a couple of departments. All of our offices were spread out. The most challenging time was when the CBA was just trying to get going.”

Today, the CBA is celebrating 50 years of excellence — with strong and growing enrollment, a wide array of programs, and a state-of-the-art home in newly renovated Wittich Hall.

And thanks to Schoenberger and his wife, Susan, ’78 & ’79, CBA students will have even more opportunities to thrive. (Susan also had a long and successful career at UWL, retiring as the assistant chancellor for Budget Planning and Control.)

The couple has created a $200,000 endowment that will support two $3,000 scholarships annually — one for an economics student and one for an accountancy student. The endowment awards its first scholarships during the 2023-24 academic year.

Thanks to Dick Schoenberger and his wife, Susan, ’78 & ’79, CBA students will have even more opportunities to thrive. The couple has created an endowment that will support two $3,000 scholarships annually — one for an economics student and one for an accountancy student. Both had long, successful careers at UWL.

The gift comes as no surprise given Schoenberger’s passion for teaching and supporting students. That passion continues to burn nearly 30 years after his retirement.

“I had some excellent students,” he notes. “I miss the teaching, and I miss the students. I don’t miss all the meetings we had to attend.”

Much has changed in the CBA since Schoenberger’s retirement in 1993. Much more has changed since his arrival on campus nearly 50 years ago.

Then, the CBA was struggling to find its footing and build its reputation.

In 1974, Schoenberger’s second year on campus, many CBA offices moved into the newly constructed North (now Wimberly) Hall.

“That changed an awful lot,” he says. “The facilities were better. The audio equipment was better. The faculty was better, and it just kept getting better. I think we took pleasure in the idea that we were part of something that was finally getting off the ground and had high expectations for the future. It was an exciting time.”

In the ’80s and ’90s, the CBA continued to hire more qualified faculty. Many had doctorate degrees — a rarity when the college first opened.

Schoenberger left his mark on the growing Economics Department, serving as the department chair for a number of years. During this stint, he wrote many of the department’s bylaws, some of which became university bylaws and he suspects are still in effect.

More importantly, he made a positive impression on countless students. 

I think we took pleasure in the idea that we were part of something that was finally getting off the ground and had high expectations for the future. It was an exciting time.”

Once, when he was out of town presenting a paper, one of his former students approached him and invited him and his wife to lunch. She had gone on to earn her Ph.D. in economics, and had landed a job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

“She and her mother took Susan and I out to lunch, at Chinatown in San Francisco,” Schoenberger remembers. “I said, ‘I’ll have anything you order.’ We had a wonderful meal, and she wrote me a number of times after that.”

Looking back on his career, Schoenberger is most proud of what the CBA — and so many of his students — have become.

“You take a certain amount of pride starting out, grassroots, and something turns out as wonderful as this and as large as this,” he says. “It’s something to be proud of, I think.”