Sharing wealth creates a lasting legacy

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bob Wasko ’66

Bob Wasko ’66

Bob Wasko ’66 remembers Olga B. Satre Hart as a bright, frugal woman who lived independently well into her ’90s. Nearly 100 St. Cloud State scholarship recipients, none of whom knew her in life, also remember her as a generous benefactor of scholarships valued at more than $155,000 to date.

Wasko first crossed paths with Hart in 1983, when he was a Minneapolis stockbroker and Hart was a vibrant 82-year-old. “I don’t think money was all that important to her,” explained Wasko, “but she did want her securities to work for her.” Wasko remembers that when the value of stock that her late husband had purchased decades earlier ballooned in the 1980s, Hart expressed surprise and dismay that she should have so much when others were in need. “She was just unique,” said Wasko.

Over the many years of their professional relationship, Hart shared her story: Born in 1901 in Madison, graduated from the St. Cloud Normal School, worked as a teacher in Marietta, married a food industry executive in 1921, and was widowed in Florida in 1954. Following her husband’s death, she returned to Minnesota and became an active community and church volunteer.

Knowing that Hart and her husband shared a love of education, Wasko talked with her about sharing some of her considerable wealth with educational institutions that were meaningful to her. With his assistance, Hart first established a charitable trust and then made arrangements for a large portion of her estate to establish the Olga B. Satre Hart Education Foundation upon her death, which came in 2000. Today, Wasko serves as trustee of the Foundation and overseas the distribution of annual gifts for scholarships at 12 high schools and institutions of higher learning – including St. Cloud State – named by Hart before her death.

- Kara Rose

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