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SAGA Corporation records, 1948-1986

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: SC-Saga
The SAGA Corporation Records collection contains correspondence, employee handbooks, SAGA publications, SAGA collectibles, newspaper articles, financial statements, health care documents, job descriptions, photographs, films, audio cassettes, and slides from the SAGA corporation, a food service organization in operation from 1948-1986. SAGA was founded at Hobart and William Smith Colleges by three students in 1948.

Of particular significance is information about "The SAGA Way", a detailed outline emphasizing the key principles of management within the corporation. "The SAGA Way" permeates the collection in many forms. There are several manuals that describe SAGA's unique management methods, as well as documentation relating to various management training conferences, one of the most noteworthy being the Congress of SAGA (1971).

Dates

  • 1948-1986

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Confidential materials including employment applications and personnel files are closed to researchers in accordance with library policy. These files are located in the subseries E. Employee records in boxes 2, 3, and 4.

Extent

144 Linear Feet

Abstract

The SAGA Corporation Records collection contains correspondence, employee handbooks, SAGA collectibles, SAGA publications, newspaper articles, health care documents, job descriptions, management materials, photographs, films, audio cassettes, and slides from the SAGA Corporation, a food service organization in operation from 1948 to 1986. SAGA was founded at Hobart and William Smith Colleges by three students in 1948.

Biographical Note

Biographical information about the founders of SAGA:

Harry W. Anderson (1922-) ("Hunk"): Born in Corning, New York, in 1922, Mr. Anderson founded (together with W. Price Laughlin and William F. Scandling) the SAGA Corporation on November 22, 1948. During his senior year at Hobart College in Geneva, New York, he and his two fellow seniors mentioned above took over the food service operation of the campus cafeteria. It was from this base the corporation was formed.

As the corporation grew, the three founders delegated operational responsibility and assumed executive positions to direct the expansion of the firm. In 1957 Anderson became Vice President; in 1962 he became Vice President of Personnel after the corporation headquarters moved to California. In 1968 he became Senior Vice President and Vice Chairman of the Board. In 1977, however, the founders and Board of Directors decided to turn over the roles of chief executive office to one person (Charles A. Lynch) who would be both president and chief executive officer. At that time the founders' roles became limited to service as Board members, however each remained active within the corporation as Founder Directors.

In addition to his SAGA activities, Harry Anderson was a trustee of Mount St. Scholastica College in Kansas and a charter member and vice president of the Council of Personnel Officers. In 1967 he earned an honorary LL.D. degree from Hobart College and another from Mount St. Scholastica College in 1968.

William Price Laughlin (1925-) ("Bill", "Willie"): Mr. Laughlin was born in New York City in 1925. He is a 1948 graduate of Hobart College and has done graduate work in political science at Harvard University (1949) and the University of Vienna (1950).

Laughlin, one of the three founders, went to Michigan in 1951 to open Kalamazoo College's food service. In 1957 he became president of SAGA and in 1962 moved to California when the founders established national headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1968 Laughlin became chairman of the board and a co-chief executive in 1971. He held these two positions until 1978 when he assumed the position of Founder Director.

In addition to his SAGA duties, Laughlin served as a trustee of Kalamazoo College, the Institute for the Quality of Working Life in Los Angeles and the Institute of Medical Sciences in San Francisco. He was also a member of the National Board of Directors of the Boys' Club of America and a member of the World Business Council. He received honorary LL.D. degrees from Hobart College in 1967 and Gonzaga University in 1969.

William F. Scandling (1922-2005) ("Bill"): Born in 1922 in Rochester, New York, Mr. Scandling served three years active duty in the Army Air Force from early 1943 to December 1945. After his military service, Scandling entered Hobart College where along with the other two founders began what was to become the SAGA Corporation in November, 1948, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1949.

During SAGA's early years, Scandling mainly stayed in Geneva to manage Hobart and William Smith Dining Services. In 1957 he became Secretary Treasurer of the firm, and in 1962, he joined his fellow founders in California when the national headquarters moved there, and became Vice President of Finance. He held that position until 1965, when he became Senior Vice President, and in 1968 Scandling was named President of the Corporation. He remained president until 1978 when the founders and the Board of Directors brought in Ernest C. Arbuckle and later Charles Lynch. At that time Scandling, with Anderson and Laughlin, became a Founder Director.

In addition to his SAGA activities, Mr. Scandling was chair of the board of trustees for Hobart and William Smith Colleges during the 1970s, 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.

Subsequently, Scandling has given generously to Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His book, "The Saga of SAGA", was published by Vista Linda Press in 1994.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following series:

  1. Records of the Company
  2. Publications of the Company
  3. Articles about SAGA in other Publications
  4. Museum Items
  5. Small Frames and Portraits
  6. Large Portraits
  7. Photographs
  8. AV Items

Location

Box 1-60: Archives Storage, Range 23

Custodial History

The correspondence, financial records, manuals, publications, photographs and audio-visual items related to the former SAGA Corporation were donated to the Archives of the Warren Hunting Smith Library of Hobart and William Smith Colleges by various SAGA alumni beginning in November 1998. Fred Smith, Vice President of Human Resources; Walter Kehoe, Food Service Director at Ouachita Baptist University; Michael Polcer, an Area Training Manager; William (Bill) O'Connell, a district manager for the Canadian Division and later Health Care Division Regional Vice President; and Ed Evans were some of the donors. P. W. Crumlish, Librarian, and Charlotte Hegyi, Archivist, accepted the gift.

For correspondence related to the gift of the SAGA Collection to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, see I. Records of the Company, A. SAGA history, folder: Correspondence related to the gift of the SAGA Collection to Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Separated Material

Some photographs, pamphlets, and SAGA collectibles have been removed and are on display in the SAGA Room of the Scandling Center and in "The Great Hall of Saga" (Blue Room) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Creator

Title
SAGA Corporation records, 1948-1986: A Finding Aid
Status
completed
Author
Stefan Baer
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Warren Hunting Smith Library
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva New York 14456 U.S.A. US (United States)