Stories of Impact

The Story of George Fague

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George and Janet Fague

Like many lads from St. Louis, George wanted to attend a Catholic college; and since he would graduate from St. Louis University High School, a Jesuit college held some appeal. He wanted to attend college away from his hometown.

Scholarship offers were good from some other schools, but the Rockhurst Jesuit tradition moved him to turn down a scholarship at a rival college to enroll at Rockhurst in the fall of 1961.

George embraced the life at Rockhurst with an enthusiasm still remembered by those who knew him here. The Jesuits help develop people who are leaders concerned with the world in which they live. George lived at Rockhurst and was very concerned with the college life in which he lived - and he led the college to action. Some of his actions still affect today's students at Rockhurst who have never heard his name.

George Fague served as president of the Dormitory Council, Student Council President and President of the Student Senate. When George started as a freshman at Rockhurst, all students were required to attend Mass on Friday morning, a requirement enforced by having each student sign his name on a card distributed down the pews, collected and checked against the roster of enrolled students.

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George Fague 1965

For George, enforced attendance at a "sign-in" Mass did not fit with the notion of students taking individual responsibility for their own spiritual growth. While George himself attended Mass daily, he was against enforcing Mass attendance. He worked with President Fr. Maurice Van Ackeren, S.J. to formulate policies that offered students more choice and greater responsibilities. First the obligatory Mass was eliminated for upperclassmen, later for all students.

George led the change that instituted student evaluations of classes and professors. Under his leadership, the Student Council and the Student Senate handpicked student evaluators. The completed questionnaires were returned only to the participating teachers. Today all students complete class and teacher evaluations.

His induction into Alpha Sigma Nu attests to his scholastic performance. Recognition of his contributions to Rockhurst came from teachers who selected him for inclusion in Who's Who and by his peers who praised his accomplishments in the 1965 yearbook.

College life is a time for fun, and George danced through college from the Beanie Mixer through the Senior Dance. He played the Saxophone when he found time. For three years he was the Musical Director of the Varieties 63-65, with Fr. James Wheeler, S.J. as faculty moderator.

An Avila education student found someone to arrange a blind date with a Rockhurst fellow. She was Janet Orscheln. He was George Fague. They found they shared interests, ideals and a love of life. Janet danced and sang at the Rockhurst Varieties from then on. George nominated her to the homecoming court. Yearbook photographers snapped pictures of them together. A year after graduation they married; and another year later had their first of five sons, born the last day of George's MBA classes at Washington University. After receiving his MBA, George went to work for Monsanto. They moved from St. Louis to Detroit, and back to St. Louis and finally to California where George served as Western Regional Sales Manager for Monsanto.

When the time came for another move with Monsanto George and Janet decided they liked where they were. They lived in a good place to raise their five sons. As a family the Fagues packed their tent for camping jaunts as often as possible, a past time they continue to enjoy.

So George and a partner started their own company, Westchem, which provides resins and additives for the plastics industry. For years Janet served as the company receptionist.

George is still a leader through the manner of his gifts. Most of the Fague's gifts are with stock acquired years ago.

George says, `Its Win-Win! It works out best for everyone. "If I have already decided I am going to give $2,500 to Rockhurst, a gift of $2,500 worth of appreciated stock makes good economic sense. Rockhurst gets the full benefit of $2,500, I get a full $2,500 income tax deduction, and I avoid the capital gains tax on that $2,500 of stock as well. And I may have originally invested only a fraction of the $2,500 to purchase the stock originally. "Everybody wins!"

They now make their stock gifts by having their broker electronically transfer stock from their account to the Rockhurst account. George simply calls the University to get the DTC number and the account number at Rockhurst's broker. During that call he tells Jody Burgard the number of shares being transferred, the name of the stock and how he wants his gift used so that Rockhurst can accurately track and record the gift.

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