Behind the Headlines

  • In Memoriam: Charles Hoeflich (1914–2011)

    November 28, 2011
    written by

    In response to:

    "Recognizing the Value of Older Directors"
    MarketWatchOctober 10, 2007

    It was with great sadness that ISI received word of the passing of Charles Hoeflich, a founding trustee of the Institute. He passed away this morning at his home.

    A trustee of ISI since 1953, Charlie served as chairman of the board for more than a decade and secretary-treasurer for over forty years. But Charlie was more than just an adviser to and benefactor of ISI; he was a dear and admired friend, a moral, financial, and practical guiding light to ISI and its leadership. In fact, ISI named its highest honor, the Charles H. Hoeflich Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his immeasurable contributions to the Institute.

    Charlie was one of the most admired figures in the banking industry as the longtime president of Univest Corp. of Pennsylvania. He joined the company in 1962 when it was known as Union National Bank and Trust Co. In 1973 he oversaw the transition into Univest Corporation, paving the way for the company’s great expansion and success in the years ahead. Although he “retired” in 1986, he remained actively involved in Univest—and ISI—for the next twenty-five years. In a 2007 story, the Wall Street Journal reported, “For an extreme example of staying power as the years pile up, it is hard to beat Mr. Hoeflich. . . . His impact comes from sharing lessons of a 70-year career in banking. . . . Mr. Hoeflich’s timeless advice about building close ties to local communities and getting to know borrowers’ character still rings true.”

    As Lee Edwards wrote in Educating for Liberty, a history of ISI’s first half century, “Charles Hoeflich was a prime example of the humane, liberally educated businessman so often drawn to ISI. . . . Committed to giving back much of what he had received, Hoeflich founded several nonprofit organizations, including the Pennsylvania Foundation for Mental Health, one of the ten outstanding community psychiatric institutions in the country; the Adult Community for Total Health Care, ‘conservative in its administration and Christian in its attitude’; and Fatima House, a Catholic retreat center. But his overriding commitment—almost a calling—was to ISI and its furtherance of Western civilization among the young.”

    In the days ahead ISI will be sharing several remembrances of Charlie from members of the ISI family who knew him best. In the meantime I encourage everyone to read this profile of Charlie that ran in ISI’s Canon in 2009.

    Requiescat in pace.

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