Chuck Stoddard, ’59 BS, believes it is important to leave the world a better place than when he entered it. He also thinks it is essential to contribute to the causes he finds most meaningful. Both of these philosophies have served him well throughout his life and now he plans to exercise them in a big way.
Stoddard says he feels indebted to the Carlson School because the great experience he had here led to the success he found in his life. Growing up in the St. Paul area, Stoddard didn’t apply himself and received average grades in elementary and high school. That turned around when he enrolled in the business school. He found his coursework to be interesting and engaging as he immersed himself in his studies and the school. “I went from a middling student in high school to being the president of Beta Gamma Sigma at the business school,” he says. “My experience at the school turned my life around.”
After graduating in 1959, Stoddard was drafted by the U.S. Army and served on a Hawaiian base for three years. Returning home in 1962, Stoddard was ready to enter law school. However, his real passion was investing, and he landed a job doing common stock investment research at First Bank (now known as U.S. Bank) and eventually settled at Wells Fargo. He became a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in 1972 and was named vice president of investments, a title he held for the rest of his career. Even now, at the age of 79, Stoddard still works one day a week at Wells Fargo doing stock market research at home. He often wakes up to start his work at 3:00 a.m., as he did in college, as he finds it is a good, quiet time to think about investments and the world that surrounds them. Every Thursday, his Wells Fargo associates receive a call from him with updates on his work.
Stoddard loves staying busy and says he’ll probably never retire. In addition to keeping up with the stock market, he enjoys playing golf and tennis several days a week. He also likes spending time with his wife, Deedee, and his grandchildren.
It’s the responsibility of alumni to give back to their schools, Stoddard says. And he hopes his gift will help elevate the Carlson School in notoriety and help recruit and retain high-quality students and faculty. He says he wants the school to be successful and wants to help other students receive the same positive experience as he did. “The U was really one of the highlights of my life,” he says. “I worked hard and studied every moment when I wasn’t sleeping. As the U presented great opportunities for me, I want this gift to say thanks for what it has done for me.”