Huntingdon County Foundation begins capital campaign
in memory of board member, longtime community benefactor
The Huntingdon County Foundation has begun a capital campaign to grow an endowment fund in honor of a founding foundation board member well-known for his community support and his leadership role at Juniata College. William Alexander, a former Juniata economics professor and later vice president, supported many community organizations and causes and is remembered as much for his volunteerism as for his professionalism and knowledge.
Mr. Alexander died Feb. 1, 2019, at age 74, after a short bout with cancer. In honor of “Bill,” the foundation in July 2019 renamed its general fund the William R. Alexander General Fund. Earnings from the Alexander fund can assist a variety of community and civic needs whereas other foundation endowments are restricted to the specific purpose for which they are created.
“Bill was highly regarded for his financial acumen. His knack for money management is as legendary locally as his decency and his fairness,” said Huntingdon attorney Lawrence Newton, chairman of the foundation board. “He is sadly missed but would be pleased that he continues to have a positive impact on the community.”
The foundation was created in 2009 under the auspices of the Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce as a public charity to support and assist non-profit organizations. Mr. Alexander, who contributed annually to the foundation, is credited with steering the investment of initial endowments. The foundation strives to help individuals, families, and businesses to pursue their charitable interests conveniently, effectively, and with maximum tax benefits.
“Bill, and another foundation board member, Phil Thompson, created the spending formula and the guidelines we follow for investments,” said John Eastman, foundation treasurer. “Bill’s background has been a huge benefit to our foundation. I think conducting this capital campaign in honor of Bill is a great way to continue his legacy.”
Mr. Alexander graduated from McConnellsburg High School in 1962. He graduated from Juniata College in 1966 with a degree in economics and earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1972. He spent his professional career at Juniata, teaching economics before becoming the college’s business manager and later the vice president for finance and operations, the position from which he retired.
He served for many years as treasurer of the Huntingdon Little League and was a member of the Huntingdon Rotary Club. Additionally, Mr. Alexander, an inaugural member of the foundation board, served on the board of Mutual Benefit Group.
Foundation endowments now total more than $900,000. In recent years, foundation disbursements have supported student scholarships and various local charities and non-profits.
The foundation board is comprised of members: Dee Dee Brown, Ann Dunlavy, John Eastman, Craig Eisenhart, Melissa Foster, Robert Gentry, Wayne Hearn, Rev. Brett D. Hoover, Lawrence Newton, Doug Roles, Dr. Mike Simone, Julie Sliver, Phil Thompson and Karla Wiser.
Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to the Huntingdon County Foundation, 500 Allegheny Street, Huntingdon PA 16652. Please note that they are for the William R. Alexander General Fund. For more information about the foundation, contact Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Yvonne Martin at 814-643-1110.