World traveler, scholar alum makes $1M gift for biology scholarships

VonHauenschild’s $1 million bequest to fund biology scholarships comes on heels of 2019 gift

January 11, 2021

Gerhard VonHauenschild, Ph.D., ‘74 has traveled all over the world. But Towson University, the biology program and its students have brought him back to where his time in the United States began. 

Gerhard VonHauenschild

A native of Stuttgart, Germany and now a resident of Augusta, Maine, VonHauenschild came to the Baltimore area in 1970 as a Towson University biology major, graduating in 3 ½ years with cum laude honors.

VonHauenschild’s recent $1 million bequest to fund biology scholarships comes on the heels of his 2019 gift to the Biology Alumni Scholarship Fund, which was matched by his employer DELTA Airlines.

“I know the financial struggles that students face, especially today,” says VonHauenschild. “I left Germany and came to Towson University as a young student, looking for independence and determined to find my own way.” He worked as a hospital orderly during his time at TU and understands the commitment students make to afford college.

“We are immensely grateful to Dr. VonHauenschild for his generous gift,” says Laura Gough, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. “Many of our students work part-time or even full-time. His gift will provide support to biology majors who need financial assistance to complete their degrees.”

VonHauenschild, who retired in 2012, earned his MBA and doctorate from George Washington University. He spent the early part of his career working for the Organization of American States (OAS), in Barbados before returning to the U.S. He continues to enjoy international travel and, prior to the pandemic, spent time annually in Austria, Germany, Mexico and Turkey. “I have been extremely fortunate in life. I recognize the need of TU students and felt called to share my good fortune with them,” he says.

Gough knows the scholarship recipients will benefit greatly from VonHauenschild’s gift.

“Scholarships allow students to devote more time to their studies and help them take advantage of opportunities for science-related activities such as independent research, which could be out of reach because of other commitments,” says Gough. “On behalf of the biology department and our majors, I thank Dr. VonHauenschild for his largesse.”

Alumni have made headlines recently for their generous gifts to TU, including Fran Soistman, Roberta Kahlert ’69 and her husband, Greg and Tom Beyard.

To create a bequest or planned gift, contact Director of Major Gifts & Planned Giving Kathleen Hider at .

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Gifts from you—our loyal alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends—change lives every day. Your philanthropic support for Towson University and giving to the Towson University Foundation provides vital resources that allow our campus to thrive.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: Culture of Philanthropy.