Testimonial: Bill Oakley, MS '71

June 12, 2017

Bill Oakley, SEAS MS '71 is providing a schoarship through a planned gift.

TO HEAR WILLIAM “BILL” OAKLEY, MS ’71, tell it, his time at GW helped put rugs under his feet and a roof over his head—so he’s giving back and then some.

“I hope to give bright, eager young people the opportunity to get a good and meaningful education,” says Bill. “I want to prepare them for a better life and to achieve the American dream.”

In 1986, Bill established a charitable remainder trust (CRT) that will help finance three endowed funds at the George Washington University: The William B. Oakley Scholarship in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the William B. Oakley Endowed Business Scholarship, and the William B. Oakley Professorial Fellowship Fund — the latter two in the School of Business.

“Endowments provide a continuing flow of funds for scholarships, as opposed to seeing it expended over a short period of time,” explains Bill, a Heritage Society and George Washington Society member. “These endowments will benefit more people over the long haul.”

Bill spent the first 20 years of his career in the U.S. Army working in the communications systems field. He was stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1968 and took night classes to earn a master’s degree in administration with a concentration in information technology from GW’s School of Business and Public Management. Because of his GW degree and communications background, Bill spent the final 11 years of his Army career working on a Worldwide Intercomputer Network (“I don’t know what ever happened to that program,” Bill chuckles) before becoming a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton.
“The GW education gave me the credentials, when tied with my other experience, for a full and satisfying career with a good salary,” says Bill.

The Army veteran is still impressed with the effect GW has on its students because of its location in the nation’s capital and its emphasis on international relations. “The role of America in the world is extremely important and developing a broad understanding of what goes on outside of your immediate area is of ultimate importance,” says Bill. “GW students not only get involved and see the governmental structure of the U.S.; they also get a feel for international activities by interacting with the broad spectrum of foreign students.”

An avid traveler, Bill spent time living in the Middle East and purchased a number of rugs from pilgrims making the Hajj to Mecca. Bill recently donated three of his rugs to the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum for use in their educational programs. He also intends to give his home to the university when he no longer needs it.

Learn more about Planned Gifts and the legacy they create for future GW students