Bill Runner understands first-hand the importance of financial aid, and the impact that one person can have on an education. He attended the Wharton Evening School on the GI Bill, where he developed a close relationship with the School’s Director, Dr. William Hockenberry, W’20, G’23–to whom he attributes much of his success. Bill explains: “Dr. Hockenberry saw me as a challenge, and he loved a good challenge. He’d say, ’You pick a course, and I’ll pick a course.’” And they did. To Dr. Hockenberry’s credit, not only did Bill perform well in his coursework, but he was also an actively engaged student–a member of Delta Sigma Pi and the Night Watch Honor Society, as well as editor of The Lantern.
To honor the connection they shared, in 2007 he and his wife, Joanne, established the Dr. William R. Hockenberry, Director of Wharton Evening School of Accounts and Finance, 1938 to 1964, Scholarship. More recently, Bill and Joanne created a Charitable Gift Annuity, designated for the scholarship, and included Wharton in their estate plans. Bill says, “I owe a lot to Penn and to Wharton. And that’s why I did it. I hope that my gift will help to inspire fellow alumni–from the Evening School, in particular–to support financial aid. It certainly opened Wharton’s doors for me.”
For the past two years, he and Joanne have welcomed Connor Cox, W’10, the scholarship’s recipient, to lunch. Also joining them were Anne Hockenberry Trout, CW’46, and her husband, Dr. Robert G. Trout, GM’60. Not only is Mrs. Trout the daughter of the late Dr. Hockenberry, but she and her husband contribute to the scholarship bearing his name. Thus Bill’s connections through Wharton continue–with the next generation.