William Wade, a 31-year teacher in the San Diego Unified School District, has established a $2.7 million endowment to fund scholarships for students in San Diego State University's Division of Undergraduate Studies.
Wade came to San Diego State College in 1946 after a tour in the Pacific during World War II. He joined what was then the largest class in the history of the college, where many of his classmates were fellow veterans.
Wade began as an engineering major, but soon switched to business — then known as commerce — and finally, as a senior, decided to become a teacher.
"I liked college so much that I looked for something to keep me connected with education," said Wade, who graduated in 1950. "I had to take an additional year of classes to qualify as a teacher, but it was a good decision. My time at San Diego State was one of the best times of my life."
Wade taught math and business for 31 years in four different junior high and high schools within the San Diego Unified School District and at Mesa Community College. Drawing on San Diego State coursework in economics, he also invested in the stock market, starting small in the 1960s, and continuing to build his portfolio through the decades.
"Naturally, I'd like to do something to make a difference in the lives of students who could not go to college without financial help," Wade said. His support combines annual gifts of cash with a large planned gift so that SDSU can immediately begin awarding scholarships in his name.
"My plan is to contribute cash each year and then my estate will go mostly to the university," he said. "I believe that providing scholarships for deserving students is an extremely good investment."