William Scandling Memorial Collection, 1967-2006
Scope and Contents
William F. "Bill" Scandling was born in Rochester, NY in 1922. After graduating high school Scandling got a job working for Levy Brothers as a traveling clothing salesman, and was quickly promoted to the firm's New York City office. Then World War II began and in July of 1942 he quit his job to enter the Army, taking part in the Pacific Theater with the Army Airways Communication System. He was discharged in 1945. Rather than return to the workforce he decided to pursue higher education, enrolling at Hobart College.
While at Hobart College Bill and fellow 1949 classmates Harry W. "Hunk" Anderson and W. Price Laughlin became known on campus as "The Corporation." They started out selling advertising on student desk blotters to area merchants and study notes, and ultimately approached college officials with the idea of running a meal service. They were given the go-ahead and began serving meals on November 22, 1948. The venture was a success and they were asked to take on the additional responsibility of running the William Smith food service operation in February 1949. Scandling graduated from Hobart in 1949 with a degree on Economics. He and his partners continued to operate their cafeteria business and incorporated it in the lates 1940s. They renamed their company Saga, inspired by the name of the Indian village Kanadasaga, on which the city of Geneva was built.
In 1951 Saga gained their first outside account with Kalamazoo College in Michigan. The company went on to operate food service programs for colleges, universities, hospitals and businesses, not to mention seven restaurant chains, at 1,430 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The founders moved Saga headquarters to Menlo Park, California in the early 1960s. In 1968 Saga went public, offering 321,000 shares of common stock. Scandling served as Saga Corporation's president from 1968 to 1978 when the founders decided to hire a chief executive officer to oversee day-to-day operations. The company was designated as one of the 100 best companies to work for in 1984. In 1986, Scandling and his partners sold Saga to Marriott Corporation in a hostile takeover valued at more than $400 million. Bill Scandling's book, "The Saga of SAGA: the Life and Death of an American Dream", was published by Vista Linda Press in 1994.
In addition to his SAGA activities, Bill Scandling was on the board of trustees for Hobart and William Smith Colleges starting in 1967, and served as chairman from 1972 until 1983. He was also a member of the national council for the Salk Institute and a director of the Empire Broadcasting Corporation. He was awarded an honorary degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1967. In 1984, the Scandling Student Center at Hobart and William Smith Colleges was named to honor Scandling's generous philanthropic commitment to the Colleges.
Scandling's first wife Margaret Warner Scandling, with whom he had a son named Michael, died in 1990. In 1995 Scandling married Yvette Farquharson-Oliver. He died on August 22, 2005 in Montreal at the age of 83.
3.5 Linear Feet ([3 boxes])
The collection is arranged in the following series:
- Souvenirs and Memorabilia
- The Saga of SAGA
- Correspondence on The Saga of SAGA
- Printed Materials
- Visual Materials
- Audio-Visual Materials
- William Scandling Memorial Materials
Box 1: Archives Storage, Range 22B, Section 4
Box 2: Archives Storage, Range 22A, Section 5
Box 3: Archives Office, Section 7
- William Scandling Memorial Collection, 1967-2006: A Finding Aid
- Martha Clark
- August 2014
- Description rules