Richard Hausamann's decision to pursue a business degree was a practical one. In 1954, Richard '61 & '68 worked at his father's Springfield photo studio and wanted to contribute all that he could to the family business. Needing a local school and a schedule that would allow him to continue to work at the studio, Richard chose American International College. Several years later, he left AIC with two degrees and the love of his life.
Looking back on his early college years, Richard recalls a very different AIC, at least in appearance, if not spirit. "In those days, AIC was very small," he said. At that time, the college had few dorms and no gym. The basketball team practiced at local high schools and played games at nearby Springfield College. Nonetheless, he considered AIC a perfect fit. "I was so proud of going to AIC and being a college boy. I bought a [letterman] jacket and would make sure that I wore it on the bus."
In 1956, nearly two years into his college career, Richard met his future wife on campus while attending a variety show and after-party. "We needed to recruit talent. Carol was attending Elms College and came over to sing and dance," he explained. "We talked, I drove her home, picked her up for work the next day, and we dated for the next two months." At the end of those two months, Richard had difficult news for Carol: he had enlisted in the Navy and would shortly be leaving port. The couple decided to continue their courtship. Their long distance relationship lasted throughout Richard's two years of service on the U.S.S. Albany, some of which he spent under the direction of then Captain John S. McCain, father of Senator John McCain.
At the end of his active duty, Richard returned to AIC and to the girl that he had left behind. "I came back, finished my degree, and gave her a ring. I owe AIC for that the most," he said, grinning at the recollection. At her husband's suggestion, Carol chose Richard's alma mater for her master's degree in education which she received in 1971. "I told Carol, 'You won't believe some of the great professors they've got,'" he said. Indeed, Carol recalls the familiar names of Drs. Winetrout, Bertrand, and Gadaire as among her favorites. As if to return the favor to her husband, Carol's example paved the way for Richard's career change from businessman to teacher. After finishing his undergraduate degree, Richard took several summer classes at AIC and began teaching at Sumner Avenue Elementary School in Springfield, a position that he held until his retirement 38 years later.
In addition to his teaching career, Richard made use of his business education by launching his own landscaping business. "I used my degree to do my own books, my own advertisements, everything." Eventually, Richard found himself employing fellow teachers and former students, building a team of 11 and managing up to 350 accounts.
AIC remains an integral part of the Hausamann's life. "Over the years, I started going back to basketball and football games. I watched AIC grow from a little campus to an athletic one and I want that to continue," said Richard. He believes that by attending AIC sports events, he is showing support for current student-athletes and the college as a whole. "It's no fun to play without an audience," he said. Carol has also maintained her ties to AIC, serving as a guest lecturer.
The Hausamann's have also shown their support for their alma mater through planned giving. "AIC did so much for us and we want to give back," said Richard. "So we've put our schools and our churches in our wills first. They'll get their share first." Carol sees their gift as having far-reaching effects. "Our basic philosophy on contributing is that it affects the future of our country," she said. "We get a chance to help in a small way and be a part of the future."
"We owe our colleges for what we have today," said Richard. Through their respective careers as educators, their support of their community, and their planned gift to AIC, the Hausamann's have made giving back a fundamental part of their legacy.
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